Do 1 percent of Americans really think Barack Obama is Jewish?

Gabe Friedman

Thanks to a recent CNN poll and an article in Mashable that trumpets its findings, the word is out that 1 percent of Americans believe President Barack Obama is Jewish.

Of course, Obama is not Jewish. He’s Protestant and has attended several different churches in Washington, D.C. since becoming president.

Yet the CNN poll released on Sunday found that only 39 percent of Americans know the president’s religious denomination. According to the survey, 29 percent think he’s Muslim, 4 percent think he’s Catholic, 2 percent think he’s Mormon and 1 percent think he’s Jewish.

The poll’s 3-percent margin of error makes its finding on Obama’s perceived Jewishness insignificant. But that didn’t stop the Internet from reacting — often humorously.

Tablet writer Yair Rosenberg pointed out ironically that right-wing pundit Ann Coulter’s recent controversial comments on the United States-Israel relationship don’t seem to be getting through to the American people.

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Even Atlantic columnist Jeffrey Goldberg, who famously called Obama the “first Jewish president,” weighed in.

Perhaps it’s not so surprising that some Americans may think Obama is Jewish. After all, the president has hosted seven White House Passover seders, appointed two Jewish chiefs of staff and has a last name that means “lightning” in Hebrew.

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