Poll: Most Southerners oppose Wilson

Nov. 15, 2009 at 2:40 PM
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COLUMBIA, S.C., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Nearly 65 percent of U.S. Southerners say they oppose an outburst by Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., during an address to Congress by President Barack Obama.

Wilson shouted "You lie!" as Obama addressed a joint session of Congress in September while making his case for healthcare system reforms. A Winthrop Poll of 11 Southern states found that a big majority of the region's residents either were opposed to or outraged by the outburst, The (Columbia, S.C.) State reported Sunday.

While the poll found that more than 43 percent of Southern Republicans supported Wilson's actions, about half of Republicans and large majorities of both independents and Democrats opposed them, The State said.

"(Wilson) acted like a redneck," Charles Marshall, a 74-year-old retired Bluffton, S.C., marketing and sales representative, told the newspaper. "And I'm no elitist by any stretch of the imagination. He was appealing to the emotions of his constituency, and that's dumb."

The survey was conducted Oct. 24-Nov. 7 among 866 adults in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. It carried a margin of error of 3.3 percent points.

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