MISSISSIPPI, GOP VOTERS, AND THE 21ST CENTURY…. When I heard that Public Policy Polling included a question on inter-racial dating in a survey of Mississippi Republicans, my first instinct was that the question was inappropriate. After all, this isn’t a question pollsters would generally pose in most parts of the country. Even asking about this seemed like an insult to GOP voters in the state, as if we should just assume that that number of Neanderthals would be fairly high.

And then I saw the results, and realized I was giving Republicans in Mississippi way too much credit.

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.

I realize that in the deep South, interracial marriage was illegal for generations, but it is the 21st century.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.