MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF/NBC) – NBC News, in partnership with SurveyMonkey, has conducted a set of polls focusing on the attitudes of Southerners ahead of the 2018 Midterms. The six polls were conducted March 12-25. Over 15,000 people were interviewed, including in South Carolina.
A majority of adults in Mississippi (57 percent), Alabama (55 percent) and Tennessee (56 percent) approve of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president. Georgians are split—49 percent approve of President Trump and 49% disapprove.
Across the regional South, 48 percent approve of President Trump and 51 percent disapprove.
The President’s lowest approval ratings are nationally—among all Americans, 43 percent approve of the way he’s handling his job and 55 percent disapprove.
Overall, only 24 percent of Americans approve of the way Congress is handling its job, 73 percent disapprove.
Only 27 percent of Southerners approve of the way Congress is handling its job and 69 percent disapprove.
Majorities of adults in Alabama (53 percent), Georgia (57 percent), Mississippi (56 percent) and Tennessee (58 percent) approve of the way their state legislature is handling its job.
Regionally, Southerners are less optimistic about the way their state legislature is handling it’s job—49 percent approve and 48 percent disapprove.
Half of adults in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee would vote for the Republican candidate if the 2018 midterm elections were being held today. Around a third of adults in Alabama (32 percent), Mississippi (36 percent) and Tennessee (33 percent) would vote for the Democratic candidate
Georgians are split– 42 percent would vote for the Republican candidate and 40 percent would vote for the Democratic candidate
Southerners overall are also split—42 percent would vote for the Republican candidate and 40 percent would vote for the Democratic candidate.
Nationally, however, Americans would vote for the Democratic candidate (44 percent) over the Republican candidate (38 percent).
Southerners are more optimistic than Americans overall about their state’s economy—69 percent rate their state economy as good compared to 61 percent nationally
Of the four states polled, majorities in Georgia (74 percent), Tennessee (71 percent) and Alabama (61 percent) rate their state economy as good. But 49 percent of Mississippians rate their state economy as bad and 47 percent rate it as good.
Southerners are also slightly more optimistic about the national economy than Americans overall—66 percent of Southerners approve of the national economy and 30 percent disapprove. Nationally, 63 percent of adults approve of the national economy and 34 percent disapprove.
Infrastructure & Taxes
Just over half of Americans (51 percent) think their state government is doing a poor job at maintaining roads, bridges and other infrastructure (47 percent think their state is doing a good job).
A majority of Southerners (56 percent), on the other hand, think their state government is doing a good job at maintaining infrastructure and 42 percent think their state is doing a bad job.
A majority of Georgians (55 percent) think their state government is doing a good job at maintaining infrastructure but majorities in Tennessee (53 percent) and Mississippi (61 percent) think their state government is doing a poor job and half of Alabamians think their state is doing a poor job at maintaining infrastructure.
Majorities of all Americans (55 percent), all Southerners (56 percent), as well as Alabamians (53 percent), Georgians (59 percent), Mississippians (62 percent) and Tennesseans (58 percent) said they would be willing to pay higher taxes to fund improvements to infrastructure.
Majorities of all Americans (55 percent), all Southerners (57 percent), as well as Alabamians (57 percent), Georgians (58 percent), Mississippians (60 percent) and Tennesseans (59 percent) would be willing to pay higher taxes to improve public schools in their state.
Seven in 10 Americans think most undocumented immigrants working in the U.S. should be offered a chance to apply for legal status and a quarter (26 percent) think they should be deported to the country they came from.
There are similar findings among Southerners—69 percent think they should be offered a chance to apply for legal status and 28 percent think they should be deported.
While state results are slightly less in favor of offering undocumented immigrants a chance to apply for legal status (60 percent in Alabama, 67 percent in Georgia, 63 percent in Mississippi and 61 percent in Tennessee), majorities share that sentiment. In Tennessee and Alabama, 36 percent said undocumented immigrants should be deported to the country they came from, 34 percent feel that way in Mississippi and 29 percent in Georgia.
64 percent of Americans support allowing same-sex couples to marry legally and 33 percent oppose.
55 percent of Southerners (still a majority but a 9-point difference from the national results) support same-sex marriage and 42 percent oppose it.
In Georgia, 51 percent support same-sex marriage and 45 percent oppose. But 49 percent of Tennesseans and 52 percent of Alabamians oppose same-sex marriage (47 percent in TN support it and 42 percent in AL).
In Mississippi, where HB1523 has drawn attention to business owners’ rights, 65 percent said they think a business owner should be allowed to refuse to provide wedding services such as catering, flowers or wedding cakes to same-sex couples if it violates their religious beliefs. Only 3 in 10 think business owners should be required by law to provide the same services to same-sex couples as they would to all other customers.
For full results and methodology, click here.
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