Mississippi Republicans and Interracial Dating

Public Policy Polling surveyed Mississippi Republicans and came away with a few fascinating results:

We asked voters on this poll whether they think interracial marriage should be legal or illegal- 46% of Mississippi Republicans said it should be illegal to just 40% who think it should be legal. For the most part there aren't any huge divides in how voters view the candidates or who they support for the nomination based on their attitudes about interracial marriage but there are a few exceptions.

Palin's net favorability with folks who think interracial marriage should be illegal (+55 at 74/19) is 17 points higher than it is with folks who think interracial marriage should be legal (+38 at 64/26.) Meanwhile Romney's favorability numbers see the opposite trend. He's at +23 (53/30) with voters who think interracial marriage should be legal but 19 points worse at +4 (44/40) with those who think it should be illegal.

It's worth noting those 46 percent of Mississippi Republicans who oppose interracial marriage -- and think it should be illegal -- are in the small minority of whites nationwide who oppose race mixin'. According to a 2007 Gallup poll, 75 percent of whites approve of interracial marriages (or at least, those between blacks and whites). That number jumps up to 85 percent for whites between the ages of 18 and 49, and dips to 64 percent for whites 50 years and older.

As for the heightened support for Sarah Palin among voters who oppose interracial marriage, it's not hard to see why that would be the case; Palin represents the resentful id in Republican politics, and she draws her support from conservatives who feel besieged by the world and its rapid changes. Given the relatively rapid social changes in places like Mississippi -- where interracial marriage was practically verboten until fairly recently -- it's no surprise that these anti-interracial marriage conservatives are enthusiastic about Palin.

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