- (Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
As the Republican presidential race continues to unfold, key GOP voters in two Southern states that will hold their primaries this week, Alabama and Mississippi, have suggested President Barack Obama is not a Christian, according to a recent poll. Voters also expressed views on interracial marriage and evolution.
The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) and surveyed 656 likely Republican voters in Mississippi and 600 likely Republican primary voters in Alabama from March 10-11. PPP asked a series of questions and divided voting choices between male and female, along with different age groups. Among some of the more interesting results, 45 percent of Alabama respondents said they believe Obama is a Muslim, while only 14 percent correctly identified him as a Christian. In Mississippi, 52 percent claimed the president was Muslim, and only 12 percent marked him down as a follower of Christ.
Among the GOP candidates for the presidential nominee, opinions were split based on the specific questions. Sixty-three percent of Alabama respondents said they had a favorable opinion of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, which was a higher score than all other candidates.
However, 31 percent of people said that come voting, they would cast their ballot for frontrunner Mitt Romney while 30 percent rallied behind Santorum, and 28 percent chose former House speaker Newt Gingrich.
In Mississippi, Gingrich was both the most popular candidate and the most likely choice for GOP primary voters.
Another poll choice revealed, however, that if Gingrich were to drop out, Santorum would get most of the votes and become the favorite for the GOP nomination. This has been a point that has often been focused on by Santorum in recent times, but the former House speaker has so far refused to back down and will wait to see how he fairs in the upcoming Southern state primaries.
The other PPP questions focused on voters' beliefs and morals. Sixty percent of Alabama voters said that they do not believe in evolution, and 66 percent of Mississippi voters agreed. Interracial marriage, made legal by the Supreme Court in 1967, also caused much division.
In Alabama, 67 percent of respondents said interracial marriage should be allowed, 21 percent insisted that it should be made illegal, and 12 percent were not sure. Fifty-two percent of Mississippi Republican voters said such marriages should be legal, versus 29 percent who said they should be banned and 17 percent who were unsure.