In general I am skeptical of surveys. You need to see the source, sampling, etc. of a survey. Many surveys are biased. Who did the survey? Was it a good that would have a vested interest in the survey results to be one way or another? Is the sample good - did it cover a large enough group and diverse (is it just local) enough to be representative of the larger group?
As you said, this was a small sample - was it taken in the Bible belt only for instance - I am sure you would get a different result if did the same sampling in CA than in Alabama. What is the error %? All surveys usually state the potential error % - if it is 12% then it kind of nulls the difference.
On the other hand, I also find surveys interesting - part of the reason I like to dissect the samplings. Sometimes you get really interesting results and brings up great debates/thinking. And also like you mention - what causes certain people to think a certain way - is it the political aspect or something much more sinster.
One thing in this vain of thinking I always thought interesting is the Pro life/Pro choice debate - the fact that quite frequently some one that is Pro life when it comes to abortion will support the death penalty and some one Pro choice will not support the death penalty. Seems a contradiction to me.