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The side of the political divide wearing tin-foil hats

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That many Americans believe strange things is not surprising, but Public Policy Polling reports today that when it comes to embracing odd conspiracy theories, the political divide matters.

PPP's latest round of conspiracy-theory related questions finds that Republicans are more likely than Democrats to believe various government-related conspiracy theories, similar to results we found on our first round of conspiracy polling last April.

If you want to maintain some degree of confidence in rank-and-file Republican voters, you may not want to read further:

* 62% of Republicans believe the Obama administration is secretly trying to take everyone's guns away;

* 44% of Republicans believe President Obama is secretly trying to figure out a way to stay in office beyond January 2017;

* 42% of Republicans fear Sharia Law making its way into America's courts

* 21% of Republicans believe that the U.S. government engages in so-called "false flag" operations, where the government plans and executes terrorist or mass shooting events;

* 27% of Republicans think a group of world bankers are slowly eliminating paper currency to force most banking online -- only to cut the power grid so regular citizens can't access money and are forced into worldwide slavery.

We can speculate about why Republican voters believe such bizarre nonsense -- maybe it's prominent GOP policymakers pushing conspiracy theories, maybe it's the result of conservative media -- but the fact that this phenomenon exists seems hard to ignore.