In addition to asking about the Presidential race in Alabama and Mississippi we also touched on some other issues in those states:
-There's considerable skepticism about Barack Obama's religion with Republican voters in them. In Mississippi only 12% of voters think Obama's a Christian to 52% who think he's a Muslim and 36% who are not sure. In Alabama just 14% think Obama's a Christian to 45% who think he's a Muslim and 41% who aren't sure.
Mitt Romney dominates the 'Obama's a Christian' vote in both states. He leads Santorum 42-28 with those folks in Mississippi and has a 38-21 lead over him with them in Alabama. In Mississippi Newt's winning the 'Obama's a Muslim' vote 39-28, but in Alabama it's a three way tie with all of the leading candidates at 31%.
-We continue to see evidence that Rush Limbaugh's damaged his brand over the last few weeks. His favorability is only slightly over 50% in these two states where the Republican electorate is incredibly conservative- he's at 53/33 in Alabama and 51/30 in Mississippi. Given that our last national survey on Limbaugh, taken a few years ago, found him at 80/12 with Republicans it's safe to say he's fallen a long way in these states.
-There's evidence that Haley Barbour's pardons on his way out the door as Governor of Mississippi hurt his standing in the state. 64% of Republican primary voters say they have a favorable opinion of him now to 27% with a negative one. Those numbers aren't bad, but they're a far cry from November when he had an 86/7 approval spread with GOP partisans in the state. Only 24% of Republicans say they approve of his pardons, while 62% disapprove.
-Alabama Republican voters skew heavily toward the Crimson Tide, with 58% identifying as Alabama fans to 28% who are Auburn fans. Santorum leads the way among Tiger fans with 35% to 30% for Gingrich and 26% for Romney. Romney's up 32-31 on Gingrich with 'Bama fans to Santorum's 27%. And among football agnostics Romney leads with 34% to 28% for Gingrich and 24% for Santorum.
-Finally there's considerable skepticism about evolution among GOP voters in both Alabama and Mississippi. In Alabama only 26% of voters believe in it, while 60% do not. In Mississippi just 22% believe in it, while 66% do not. Romney wins the 'voters who believe in evolution' vote (33-27 over Gingrich in Alabama, 38-32 over Gingrich in Mississippi.) Santorum wins the 'voters who don't believe in evolution' vote (34-33 over Gingrich in both Alabama and Mississippi with Romney at 26%)