Odd ideas in Alabama and Mississippi

Public Policy Polling (based here in North Carolina) put out an interesting press release today on the results of its latest poll conducted over the weekend in Alabama and Mississippi, the two states in tomorrow's primary.

I wasn't so much interested in who people say they're voting for as in responses to some other questions asked. The poll targeted those deemed likely to vote in the Republican primary, so it doesn't reflect the views of the state's overall population. On the other hand, both states do lean heavily Republican.

Of those surveyed in Alabama, 45% expressed the opinion that President Obama is a Muslim and another 41% said they weren't sure. Only 14% knew (or perhaps I should say "believe") the correct answer, that he's a Christian.

Asked whether mixed-race marriage should be legal, just over 2/3 in Alabama said it should, but 21% said it should not and another 12% weren't sure.

It only gets worse in Mississippi, where a majority of those surveyed -- 52% -- thought Barack Obama a Muslim and just 12% correctly identified hims as Christian.

The survey showed majority support for interracial marriage in Mississippi, but by only 54%. Well over a fourth of respondents, 29%, thought it should be outlawed, and another 17% were on the fence.

These results are based on moderate-size samples of 656 in Mississippi and 600 in Alabama, so the conventional sampling error for the foregoing results is about plus or minus 4 percent or less. Methodology, question wording, cross-tabs, and so on can all be found in the previously mentioned press release.

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