Good timing, given The New Yorker magazine cover (see below). So how'd we do? As if you had to ask.
Despite recurrent media attention to the issue -- including extensive coverage of his association with the controversial Protestant cleric, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright -- the incorrect perception that the Democratic presidential candidate adheres to the Muslim faith or to another non-Christian faith has remained remarkably constant over the course of the 2008 election campaign.
Twelve percent of respondents say Obama's a Muslim, despite that fact he's not -- he's Christian. One percent have his as Jewish, which is kinda interesting and strange and not altogether understandable. But hey, what the heck. Some 25 percent don't know and 3 percent refused to answer. Of the "don't know" types, 10 percent said they've heard lots of different things. That's the Muslim whisper effect, hidden in the data, and is interesting as well.
I published a piece some time back that looked as the ability to identify the religions of four candidates (Gore and Lieberman, Bush and Cheney). Those who shared a religion with that person were more accurate. Everyone could identify Lieberman's religion, very vew could correctly place Cheney. And lots of Baptists said Bush was Baptist when, instead, he's Methodist (though a flavor that looks awfully like Southern Baptist, so understandable).
Overall, this fuzzy sense of Obama's religion may play a role later. You can be sure it'll come up as a question in the debates, which I'm sure he'll welcome, but I doubt his answer, no matter how sincere, will solve nothing. He'll do the "I'm not a Muslim, not that there's anything wrong with that!" approach that serves him well among some, but does nothing with a few crazies out there.