Three out of four Marylanders who supported the ballot measure to allow same-sex marriage in the state also backed President Barack Obama, while more than half of those who opposed it supported Republican challenger Mitt Romney, according to the preliminary results of exit polls conducted in Maryland for The Associated Press and the television networks. Among the other findings:
GAY MARRIAGE NOT AS SIMPLE AS BLACK OR WHITE
While many black church groups opposed Maryland's measure to legalize gay marriage, exit polls found that black voters were about split on the issue. White Marylanders voted slightly in favor of the question.
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 are 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 less support from those age 30 to 44. The measure was opposed by voters over age 62.
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. 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.