Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain enjoys a 16-point lead ”” 51 percent to 35 percent ”” among Southern voters over rival Democratic U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, a new poll by Winthrop University and ETV shows.
And, the further into the South you go, the larger McCain’s lead grows, the poll of likely voters in 11 Southern states shows.
Likely voters in the Deep South ”” those in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina ”” preferred McCain by a 25-point margin, 56 percent to 31 percent.
Southern voters said what they want most in a president is honesty, experience and shared values. Southern voters rated McCain ahead of Obama in each of those categories.
McCain’s strongest support comes from white working-class Southerners ”” who favor him by a 34-point margin ”” and white evangelicals ”” who favor the Arizonan by 54 percentage points.