MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Voters' race, age, income and church attendance were factors in Republican Mitt Romney's 61-38 percent win over President Barrack Obama in Alabama. Independents also broke heavily for Romney, according to exit polling conducted for The Associated Press. Among the findings:
Obama and Romney ran about even among voters age 18 to 29, but Romney's support grew based on the age of voters, with Romney getting about seven out of 10 votes from those 65 and older. Republican John McCain did slightly better with retirement age voters four year ago, getting nearly eight out of 10 votes.
More than eight of 10 white voters supported Romney, while more than nine of 10 African-American voters backed Obama.
Romney got a majority of the votes from men and women, but he fared better with men. About two-thirds of male voters reported supporting him, while more than half of 10 female voters said they did.
Obama and Romney were competitive with voters whose family incomes are less than $50,000 annually, but Romney was the choice of about seven of 10 voters with higher incomes.
Obama and Romney ran close in small towns and rural areas, but Romney led in larger cities and suburbs. Obama carried the geographic area covering Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery and parts of west Alabama, but Romney led in other areas of the state by about a 2-to-1 margin.
About 6 of 10 voters identified the economy as the top issue, and they favored Romney. The Republican was also the favorite of voters who identified the federal deficit as the key issue. Obama was the top choice among voters who identified health care at the top issue.
About half of voters identified themselves as born-again or evangelical Christians, and they favored Romney by about a 9-to-1 margin. Romney was also the favorite among voters who said they attend religious services at least once a week and those who attend occasionally.
Education didn't make much difference in how Alabamians voted. More than 60 percent of those with high school educations and more than 60 percent of those with college degrees supported Romney. The two candidates were closer among those with post-graduate educations.
Voters in Alabama, which hasn't gone Democratic in a presidential race since 1976, indicated they had made up their minds long before the candidates bombarded them with TV ads. About eight of 10 said they did so before September.
Democrats overwhelmingly voted for Obama and Republicans for Romney. Among voters who identified themselves as independents, Romney won about three-fourths of the vote.
The exit poll of 1020 voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research in a random sample of 15 precincts statewide. Results were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.