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Conservatives more likely to think Obama is Muslim now than in 2008

Assessing Romney's trip abroad, and both sides' negative ads

(CBS News) Americans -- but conservative Republicans in particular -- are more likely to mistakenly think that President Obama is Muslim than they were in 2008, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.

Nearly half, 49 percent, of registered voters surveyed correctly identified Mr. Obama as Christian, while 17 percent thought he was Muslim. In October 2008, as Mr. Obama was in the final stretch of his first presidential campaign, 55 percent of registered voters identified him as Christian and 12 percent identified him as Muslim.

The increase in voters who think the president is Muslim is more pronounced among registered Republicans, especially conservative Republicans. In 2008, among both conservative Republicans and Republicans overall, 16 percent said Mr. Obama was Muslim. Now, 30 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of conservative Republicans think he is Muslim.

Among voters overall, 45 percent say they're comfortable with Mr. Obama's religion, while 19 percent are not. Among those who think he is Muslim, just 26 percent are comfortable with his beliefs.

The survey also found that 60 percent of registered voters correctly identified Mr. Obama's competitor, Mitt Romney, as Mormon. Forty-one percent of voters overall (and 60 percent of those who know he is Mormon) said they were comfortable with his faith.

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