One in five Americans thinks President Obama is a Muslim, according to a new poll -- and at least one congressional candidate counted himself in the undecided category.
Tom Ganley, the Republican nominee to take on Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton in Ohio's District 13, would not comment on the president's religion during an interview Thursday.
"I don't have a position on whether he's a Muslim," Ganley told Roll Call, though he later backed off the comment.
The White House does have a position. Reacting to the latest poll numbers Thursday, the White House put out a statement reiterating that the president is in a fact a "committed Christian" who seeks "spiritual advice and counseling" from a small circle of pastors and prays "every day."
Ganley, an auto dealer, referenced White House claims in attempting to clarify his comment in a statement later Thursday. "I do not believe President Obama's religion has any impact on the need for jobs in Ohio's 13th district. According to the White House, our President is a Christian and I have no reason to believe otherwise," he said, according to Roll Call.
The new survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that 18 percent of Americans think Obama is a Muslim, up from 11 percent in 2009. Forty-three percent said they don't know what religion the president follows.