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Minn. Exit Poll: Gender Gap On Amendment

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President Barack Obama and Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar posted victories in Minnesota, while the outcome of a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage remained uncertain Tuesday night. Here’s a look at results from a preliminary exit poll conducted in Minnesota for The Associated Press:

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OBAMA HOLDS ON

Obama lost the support of male voters from his 2008 victory in the state but was backed heavily by women, voters under age 30, those with family incomes of up to $100,000, and three-quarters of those who said that health care reform is the most important issue. Urban backing also worked to his advantage; he carried the Twin Cities easily while losing the collar counties and maintaining a competitive showing elsewhere.

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KLOBUCHAR SWEEPS ALL REGIONS

Klobuchar easily secured a second term by prevailing over Kurt Bills in every region of the state, every age group and among most other demographic groups. Bills lost the backing of nearly a quarter of his fellow Republicans. He was preferred by three-quarters of self-described conservatives, a majority of white evangelical voters and three-fifths of those who voted for the marriage amendment.

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GENDER GAP ON MARRIAGE AMENDMENT

The proposed amendment to define marriage as only between a man and a woman was opposed by a majority of women and backed by a majority of men. Similarly, voters under age 50 voted against it by a substantial majority, while those over 50 were strongly in favor. Seven in 10 voters who attend religious services and four in five born-again or evangelical voters favored the amendment. The vote was split along party lines — three in four Democrats said they voted against it, and three in four Republicans supported it.

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ECONOMY DOMINATES VOTER CONCERNS

Health care reform, foreign policy and other campaign flashpoints were dwarfed by the economy on Election Day. About six in 10 Minnesota voters said the economy is the most important issue facing the country — three times more than any other issue. The federal budget deficit and health care reform were named by two in 10 or less.

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LIMITED FINANCIAL PROGRESS

Financial progress on the home front since the last presidential election has been limited, according to a majority of Minnesota voters. About three in 10 said their family’s financial situation is worse now than four years ago, and another four in 10 said it’s no better. Only a quarter said they are better off today than in 2008.

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GOVERNMENT’S ROLE

Minnesota voters are divided on government’s role. Close to half said they think the government should do more to solve problems. But a like amount said they agreed with the statement “Government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.”

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The preliminary exit poll of 1,641 Minnesota voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research in a random sample of 25 precincts statewide. Results were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.

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