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Md. voters who backed Obama favored gay marriage

Wednesday - 11/7/2012, 2:59am  ET

By The Associated Press

(AP) - Marylanders who voted for President Barack Obama strongly supported a ballot measure to allow same-sex marriage in the state, while those who backed Republican challenger Mitt Romney overwhelmingly opposed it.

But while state voters narrowly approved the measure, exit polls conducted in Maryland on Tuesday for The Associated Press and the television networks also revealed that support for the measure wasn't totally along party lines. For example, 9 out of 10 black voters favored Obama. However, about half of black voters opposed the same-sex marriage measure.

Here were some other results:

GAY MARRIAGE AND THE BLACK VOTE

Many black church groups opposed Maryland's measure to legalize gay marriage, and exit polls found that more than half opposed the measure. White Marylanders narrowly supported the measure.

Gov. Martin O'Malley signed a gay marriage bill into law in March, but opponents collected enough signatures to force the issue onto the ballot, making the state one of four with referendums on the issue Tuesday. The others were Maine, Washington and Minnesota.

YOUNGER VOTERS MORE ACCEPTING OF GAY MARRIAGE

Younger voters were more likely to support the ballot question to legalize gay marriage.

The strongest support was among those under age 29, with 7 in 10 voting for gay marriage. Almost 6 in 10 of those age 30 to 44 voted for the measure. Those over 45 narrowly opposed it, with nearly two-thirds of those 65 and older voting against the measure.

CHILDREN AND GAY MARRIAGE

Women with children were the strongest supporters of gay marriage, with nearly two-thirds saying they supported it.

FEDERAL DEFICIT, THE ECONOMY, HEALTH CARE AND THE WHITE HOUSE

Health care and the federal budget deficit were among the issues that most sharply divided supporters of Obama and Romney.

Those who said health care was the most important facing the country overwhelmingly supported the president. with more than 8 in 10 voting for Obama. Those who said the federal budget deficit was the most important issue voted in favor of Romney. But those who said the economy was the top issue favored the president.

DEFICIT, ECONOMY KEY ISSUES FOR SENATE CHALLENGERS

The federal budget deficit played well with supporters of Sen. Ben Cardin's two challengers, Republican Dan Bongino and independent Rob Sobhani.

Among the nearly one in five voters who said the deficit was the most important issue facing the country, Cardin and Bongino each received nearly 40 percent of the vote, while Sobhani was supported by about a quarter of those voters.

The preliminary exit poll of 1248 Maryland voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research in a random sample of 20 precincts statewide. Results were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.

Online: http://surveys.ap.org/exitpolls


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)