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Our good friends at the nationally acclaimed polling firm, Public Policy Polling generated a lot of national headlines today when they reported that a huge chunk of Republican voters in Mississippi and Alabama (Surprise!!)  have some pretty distorted views of reality.

“In Mississippi only 12% of voters think Obama’s a Christian to 52% who think he’s a Muslim and 36% who are not sure. In Alabama just 14% think Obama’s a Christian to 45% who think he’s a Muslim and 41% who aren’t sure.”

Of course, if you think about it, this all makes a lot of sense. After all, the President’s name obviously sounds downright Mooslim, er ah, Muslim, right? In the words of George Cleveland, “I mean come on. Give me a break!”

Not surprisingly, however, it appears that Deep South voters continue to be thrown off by the names of other major candidates as well. According to a recent, less-well-reported poll result, more than two-thirds of Alabama and Mississippi Republicans also think that:

  • Newt Gingrich is a rare South American salamander. 
  • Rick Santorum is the name of the Albanian parliament.
  • Ron Paul is a famous guitar inventor.
  • Mitt Romney is the back-up catcher for the Atlanta Braves.
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Not that anyone needs to be reminded, but the American process for selecting presidential nominees is nuts. The notion that a few thousand troubled and disaffected ultra-rightists — people so far gone that a big chunk of them actually voted for a truly disturbed theocrat like Rick Santorum — are capable of winnowing the field 10 months before the election is beyond amazing. 

For North Carolinians, the crazy, “front-leaded” primary  calendar is a particular drag since it almost always assures that their choices will be greatly reduced, if not nonexistent come the first week of May.

For progressives, last night’s Iowa caucuses provided a mixture of good and bad news. Read More