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Poll: Many Southern Conservatives Feel Interracial Marriage Should Be Illegal

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Photo of high-profile interracial couple Robert De Niro (L) and wife, Grace Hightower at the 34th Kennedy Center Honors held at the Kennedy Center Hall of States in Washington, DC. (Photo by Michael Tran/Getty Images)

Photo of high-profile interracial couple Robert De Niro (L) and wife, Grace Hightower at the 34th Kennedy Center Honors held at the Kennedy Center Hall of States in Washington, DC. (Photo by Michael Tran/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Primary elections in the conservative swing states of Alabama and Mississippi are already underway. And recent surveys taken by Public Policy Polling reveal that close races are anticipated in both states.

But that isn’t all the polls revealed.

Data from both states shows that significant portions of right-leaning voters do not believe in the validity of either interracial marriage or evolution.

Of some 600 likely Republican primary voters asked, 60 percent of those responding in Alabama said they do not believe in evolution, and 21 percent from the same state said they feel interracial marriage should be illegal.

In Mississippi, a reported 29 percent said interracial couples should not be legally permitted to marry, and 66 percent do not believe in evolution.

Earlier this year, the Pew Research Center released the results of a study that indicate a record number of interracial marriages, with a reported 4.8 million mixed race unions found throughout the country.

Since 1967, interracial marriage has been recognized as legal, after a Supreme Court decision in the Loving v. Virginia case that ruled laws prohibiting it to be unconstitutional. Many states had chosen to formally recognize the unions before this decision.

Like interracial marriage, evolution was not accepted socially – or as part of a secondary biology curriculum – for the first part of the 20th century in the United States. In 1968, the Supreme Court ruling on Epperson v. Arkansas gave evolution legal protection, while simultaneously disallowing creationism as an alternative theory.

The public study of creationism and campaigns for legal definitions of marriage have been significant conservative rallying points during the past few elections. 

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