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Minnesota poll shows voters split on anti-gay marraige amendment

Minnesota poll shows voters split on anti-gay marraige amendment

MINNEAPOLIS — A new poll commissioned by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune shows slightly more Minnesotans favor the ballot initiative for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, but that support falls just short of the 50 percent needed to pass the measure.

The poll, published Sunday, indicated support for the ban at 49 percent, compared to 47 percent opposed — 4 percent remain undecided.

The breakdowns ran along party lines, although independents played a dominant factor. Among Democrats, 73 percent of voted oppose the amendment, compared to 78 percent of Republicans who support the amendment. Among Independents, 55 percent support the measure, 38 percent oppose it.

The slight edge for the pro-amendment side, while not outside the margin of error, shows “we are in good shape and reinforces our belief that if we execute our game plan, we will pass the amendment,” said Frank Schubert, who leads that effort for Minnesota for Marriage. The other side, he said, “has not moved the needle” from a year ago, even after a months-long campaign.

But opponents, who launched two television advertisements in the last week, said the poll shows they are well-positioned to defeat the measure.

“It’s clearly an incredibly close race and will be a dead heat down to Election Day,” said Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families, the lead group opposing the measure.

The Star-Tribune also polled on the question, “If same-sex couples are not allowed to marry, do you support or oppose allowing civil unions that would grant the same legal status as marriage?”

There was a decidedly different outcome as support for civil unions — 63 percent of the poll’s respondents said they would support civil unions, 23 percent were opposed, and 9 percent were undecided.

Minnesota law requires any change to its Constitution requires a majority of all ballots cast, which means that any undecided voter who skips the question is counted as a no vote.

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