Where Mississippi Republicans are getting their facts is unclear, but it’s clear that the majority of them have their facts wrong.
Here’s the dirty lowdown: President Obama is not a Muslim.
Nonetheless, more than half of Mississippi’s Republicans voters believe he is a Muslim, even though he attended Christian churches for decades and has said time after time he is not a follower of Islam.
Mississippi’s inattention to facts, as least among Republicans, is borne out in a startling Public Policy Polling survey that is making huge headlines across the country: Only 12 percent of GOP voters in the Magnolia State think Obama’s a Christian to 52 percent who think he’s a Muslim and 36 percent who are not sure.
Neighboring Alabama’s inattention to facts is almost as startling: Just 14 percent of Alabamans think Obama’s a Christian to 45 percent who think he’s a Muslim and 41 percent who aren’t sure.
The 11-year-old Public Policy Polling, base in Raleigh, N.C., performs automated telephone surveys using Interactive Voice Response (IVR). It claims tp be able to track public opinion more often and on a wider range of issues than by interviewing in-person or via phone, or by mail-in surveys.
The PPP polling shows Mississippi Republicans still have much fondness for two high-profile conservatives despite controversial actions each has taken recently: radio gabber Rush Limbaugh and former Gov. Haley Barbour.
Limbaugh is viewed favorably by 51 percent of Mississippi GOP voters despite three days of verbal attacks he launched against a Georgetown University co-ed over the contraceptives issue, calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute” who should have to perform sex acts on the Internet for his enjoyment. Forty-seven percent of the respondents to the Limbaugh question were women voters, according to Public Policy Polling.
Barbour is viewed favorably by 64 percent of Mississippi Republicans despite 62 percent of them viewing with disfavor his pardon of more than 200 inmates upon leaving office, including a number of convicted murderers.
The vast majority of Mississippi Republicans, 66 percent, do not believe in evolution. Twenty-two percent do believe in evolution while 11 percent are not sure.
Only a slight majority of Mississippi’s GOP voters, 54 percent, think interracial marriage should be legal. Twenty-nine percent say such marriages should be illegal and 17 percent are still trying to make up their minds on the issue, according to Public Policy Polling.
Both Mississippi and Alabama go to the polls Tuesday for the GOP’s presidential preference primary. Here’s what PPP had to say at mid-day Monday about Tuesday’s voting:
“Tuesday looks like it’s going to be a close election night in both Mississippi and Alabama. In Mississippi Newt Gingrich is holding on to a slight lead with 33 percent to 31 percent for Mitt Romney, 27 percent for Rick Santorum, and 7 percent for Ron Paul. And Alabama is even closer with Romney at 31 percent to 30 percent for Gingrich, 29 percent for Santorum, and 8 percent for Paul.
“Gingrich and Santorum are both more popular than Romney in each of these states. In Mississippi Gingrich’s net favorability is +33 (62/29) to +32 for Santorum (60/28) and +10 for Romney (51/41). It’s a similar story in Alabama where Santorum’s at +32 (63/31), Gingrich is at +26 (58/32), and Romney’s at only +13 (53/40).”