There is a relatively new polling firm, founded in 2013 and based just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, that has paired up with the Southern Political Report and polled 12 Southern states vis-a-vis the GOP nomination in 2016. These surveys were completed from 08/02-08/03 and were released shortly before the first GOP nomination debate yesterday, 08/06. For each of these surveys there is also a sponsor listed for each respective state, who paid for the poll. NEWSMAX helped to collaborate vis-a-vis data dissemination.
The results of all 12 southern states together: Trump 28.3 / Bush 18, margin = Trump +10.3
Individual state results (I will only give the toplines, the other values you can see for yourselves)
Alabama: Trump 37.6, Carson 14.6, margin = Trump +23.0
Arkansas: Trump 25.5, Huckabee 21.4 (Bush 9.2), margin = Trump +4.1
Florida: Trump 26.6, Bush 26.2 (Cruz 8.2, Rubio 6.5), margin = Trump +0.4 (statistical tie, near mathematical-tie)
Georgia: Trump 30.4, Bush 17.3 (Huckabee 6.5), margin = Trump +13.1
Louisiana: Trump 28.9, Bush 16.9 (Jindal 6.0), margin = Trump +12.0
Mississippi: Trump 26.9, Bush 12.4, margin = Trump +14.5
North Carolina: Trump 30.4, Bush 18.8, margin =Trump +11.6
Oklahoma: Trump 35.8, Bush 13.6, margin = Trump +22.2
South Carolina: Trump 31.3, Bush 13.9 (Graham 6.5), margin = Trump +17.4
Tennessee: Trump 35.3, Carson 14.5, margin = Trump +20.8
Texas: Trump 19.4, Bush 16.9, margin = Trump +2.5
Virginia: Trump 27.9, Bush 14.8, margin = Trump +13.1
All of these survey were of Republican LV (likely voters), and the MoE was usually around +/-4.
According to Opinion Savvy, Trump is leading in 9 of 12 southern states by double digits, ranging from +11.3 (North Carolina) to +23 (Alabama). In the other three states, Trump leads by single digits or less and all three margins are within the MoE (Texas, Arkansas and Florida). Overall, Trump had the highest percentage in all 12 contests.
Bush is in second place in 9 of these 12 states, Carson is in 2nd place in 2 and Huckabee is in 2nd place in one state (Arkansas, naturally).
There is absolutely no doubt that the deep South is the ideological heart and soul of the Republican party. At this time Donald Trump is absolutely dominating in the deep South. And these results were BEFORE last night's debate.
I want to also point out that for the last 40 years, the Republican who won the Oklahoma primaries (excluding 1976 Caucus by a hair and 2012 by +5 for Santorum) went on to be the party's nominee in the GE. So, in 8 of the last 10 presidential primary cycles, Oklahoma was one of those states that went with the eventual nominee. This makes it somewhat of a southern "Bellwether" for the GOP.
The founder and owner of Opinion Savvy, Matt Towery, is an avid Tea-Party supporter and has written often in support of the Tea Party in publications like Newsmax (which supports birther articles and the like) and Townhall. He is also a political analyst for FOX 5. So, I don't think anyone can accuse Opinion Savvy of being a Left-leaning pollster. This doesn't mean that their work is bad. For instance, WeAskAmerica (WAA) a Republican pollster out of Illinois, has put out some very accurate results and is gaining a reputation for a good track record.
I suspect that Opinion Savvy will be polling the 12 southern States again and it will be interesting to see how the numbers change.
3 border states are missing from these polls, all north of the Mason-Dixon line: West Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri - states that like to self-identify as "southern" states, fyi.