A majority of Republicans and over forty percent of Americans still hold the belief that American forces uncovered Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, according to a new poll released Wednesday.Conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s research center, PublicMind, the survey also questioned people on a number of popular conspiracy theories and found that the American public\u0026#039;s beliefs regarding factual events is \u0022strongly connected\u0022 to partisanship and media choices.Overall, of the 964 adults who were sampled in the national phone survey, 42 percent said that it was \u0022definitely\u0022 or \u0022probably\u0022 true that American forces found an active weapons of mass destruction program in Iraq. This belief—which has been repeatedly refuted and was one of the primary justifications for the Iraq invasion—is still held by the majority of Republicans (51 percent) and roughly a third of Democrats (32 percent).The survey was conducted at the end of 2014.\u0022People who think we did the right thing in invading Iraq seem to be revising their memories to retroactively justify the invasion,\u0022 said Dan Cassino, a professor of political science and the director of experimental research for the poll. \u0022This sort of motivated reasoning is pretty common: when people want to believe something, they’ll twist the facts to fit it.\u0022When matched with respondents\u0026#039; primary news sources, the survey found that 52 percent of Fox News viewers believed the U.S. found WMDs in Iraq, compared with 41 percent of CNN viewers, 31 percent Daily Show viewers, and 14 percent who get most of their news from MSNBC.The survey also questioned whether respondents believe, \u0022President Obama is not legally a citizen of the United States.\u0022 To this statement, 34 percent of Republicans answered that it he is \u0022probably\u0022 or \u0022definitely\u0022 not a citizen, compared with just 7 percent of Democrats. Further, 30 percent of Fox News viewers hold this belief and another 9 say they \u0022do not know.\u0022\u0022It’s easier for people to maintain false beliefs when they avoid media sources that might refute them,\u0022 said Cassino. \u0022So it’s no surprise that people who watch ideological media are better able to hold on to these sorts of beliefs.\u0022The one conspiracy that holds more ground with people on the left, according to the research, is: \u0022The Secret Service is intentionally leaving President Obama unprotected.\u0022 Sixteen percent of those who agreed with this statement identified as Democrats, compared with just 8 percent Republicans. More notably, 20 percent of non-white respondents agree with this statement. As Cassino notes, \u0022given the past assassinations of civil rights leaders, and medical experimentations carried out by the government on African-Americans, it’s understandable.\u0022Seeking to identify if believing in conspiracies correlates with overall political knowledge, researchers asked respondents three questions about the government: \u0022Which party currently controls the House of Representatives? What are the three branches of government? Name the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.\u0022According to the results:All told, one third of respondents were unable to answer any of the questions correctly, 26 percent got one right, 27 percent got two right, and just 13 percent correctly answered all three. On the questions of Obama’s citizenship and WMD in Iraq, higher levels of political knowledge correspond with lower levels of belief. Of those who were unable to answer any of the questions correctly, 21 percent say that Obama is \u0022definitely\u0022 or \u0022probably\u0022 not a citizen, and 46 percent say that a WMD program was found in Iraq. Among the smaller group that answered all of the questions correctly, these figures fall to 13 and 20 percent, respectively.