Al Smith was the governor of New York who ran for President against Herbert Hoover in 1928. A factor in the race was that he was also the first Catholic to run on a major party ticket (John F. Kennedy was the second).
Smith won two New England states, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, where his Catholic background probably helped, rather than hurt him (and narrowly lost his home state of New York). Apart from that, he won six future "Dixiecrat" states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, most of which were won by Strom Thurmond in 1948 and George Wallace in 1968 as right-wing "independent" Democrats.
These "Dixiecrat" states were most influenced by the Ku Klux Klan, which were highly anti-Catholic. Yet Smith won these states, while most of the rest of the country voted against him, including southern states like Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. (Texas was close.)
Why was that?