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St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesotans disapprove of the way the president has handled the job by a 53-46 percent margin, according to the National Election Pool Survey conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International. The survey is a cooperative arrangement among ABC News, The Associated Press, CBS News, Cable News Network, Fox News and NBC News.
When asked what one candidate quality mattered most, the top ranked response was the ability to "bring about needed change" - and 95 percent of voters who chose that response went for Kerry.
Thirty percent of Minnesota voters surveyed said they were voting against one candidate rather than for the person for whom they ultimately cast their ballots. For every anti-Kerry voter there were three anti-Bush votes cast.
One-quarter of Minnesota voters cited moral values as the top issue in the presidential race - and those voters backed Bush three-to-one. But the president fared worse on several other issues - most notably the war in Iraq. Twenty-one percent of Minnesota voters cited Iraq as their number one issue; 81 percent of those voters swung to Kerry. Kerry also was heavily favored by voters who ranked the economy, health care and taxes as their top issues.
Minnesotans clearly don't think the Iraq war is going well - 60 percent say the war is going very or somewhat badly. Fifty-three percent disapprove of the decision to go to war.
Some other notable Minnesota responses:
-Nearly one in 10 voters cast a ballot for the first time. Those new voters favored Kerry 63 percent to 33 percent.
-The much coveted suburban vote split almost evenly.
-The gender gap virtually disappeared, but a religion gap emerged. President Bush did very well among voters who attend services at least once a week.
-President Bush did notably worse among young voters than he did four years ago. The 18-to-29 age group went for Kerry 59 percent to 38 percent for Bush, 10 percentage points lower than he polled against Gore with this group in 2000.
-Seventy-seven percent of Minnesota voters made up their minds more than a month ago. But voters who made decisions since then didn't swing more significantly for Kerry than the early deciders.