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Indiana exit poll: Women aid Donnelly victory

Associated Press Modified: November 7, 2012 at 1:01 am •  Published: November 7, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney cruised to victory in Indiana, while Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly won a closely watched U.S. Senate race and Republican Rep. Mike Pence won the governor's contest.

Here's a look at results from an exit poll conducted in Indiana for The Associated Press:



Women may have made the difference in Donnelly's margin over Richard Mourdock, just two weeks after Mourdock's widely publicized comment about rape. Exit polling showed that 52 percent of women voters chose Donnelly, while only 42 percent were for Mourdock. The two were nearly deadlocked among male voters. Mourdock said on Oct. 23 that pregnancy resulting from rape is "something God intended." Donnelly also polled strongly among voters under 50, blacks, those without a college degree, and those with family incomes of under $50,000. Mourdock was stronger among whites, evangelical or born-again voters and Indianapolis residents.



Romney's victory in Indiana was helped by big support from a number of demographic groups. He won the support of a wide majority of whites (60 percent), conservatives (85 percent) and those with family incomes of at least $50,000 (59 percent). Romney also was heavily backed by voters over 40.



President Barack Obama, who has polled better among young voters nationwide, managed to do no better than break even with Romney among under-30 Indiana voters. That was significantly weaker than in 2008, when he became the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry Indiana since 1964. He drew far less support from independent voters and from those with family incomes over $100,000 this time around.



Republican Sen. Richard Lugar's presence on the ballot would have made for a completely different Senate race. If Lugar had been the Republican nominee instead of Mourdock, Donnelly would have lost about a quarter of his support to him, exit polls showed. Voters indicated that in a head-to-head showdown between Donnelly and Lugar, a plurality would have preferred Lugar, by 46 percent to 39 percent. Mourdock, the tea party-backed state treasurer, easily knocked the six-term incumbent out of the race in the May primary.

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