Mississippi GOP: Less than half support interracial marriage

Who: Public Policy Polling
What: "MS GOP: Bryant for Gov., Barbour or Huckabee for Pres."
When: April 7, 2011

46% of these hardcore Republican voters believe interracial marriage should be illegal, while 40% think it should be legal.

You read that correctly: Six of ten Mississippi Republicans polled in late March are unable to accept or agree that interracial marriage should be legal.

Of the four hundred "usual Mississippi Republican primary voters" surveyed, that means about 186 gave the straithgforward answer that miscegenating marriages should be illegal. In truth, it is a simple enough argument to understand, even if one disagrees with it to the point of mockery.

Perhaps a bit more confusing, though, are the 56 or so respondents who said they didn't know if interracial marriage should be legal. How, exactly, does that opinion work? What is the underlying question?

The statistical breakdown is an interesting dynamic for the wonkish, too. The strongest opposition to miscegenating marriages is found among Governor Haley Barbour's supporters; they account for thirty-seven percent of the opinion against interracial marriage, and thirty-five percent of the uncertain. Without Barbour in the race, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee led the poll result, as well as held the biggest share of those opposed to interracial marriage. Without Barbour in the race, Huckabee (33%), former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (27%), and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (21%) draw over eighty percent of those opposed to interracial marriage.

None of that, of course, surprises liberals. Though they should note that Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN-6) did not seem to draw much for racists. Among the five percent of respondents who preferred her as the Republican 2012 presidential candidate, only one in six oppose interracial marriage. Technically, that's a better number than her state-mate, Gov. Tim Palwenty's supporters; the Minnesota governor drew only three percent of the respondents, one in five of whom oppose interracial marriage.

I think. They are rough enough numbers; with Pawlenty supporters, you are talking about somewhere in the neighborhood of two people who oppose interracial marriage. And it is Mississippi, after all.