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St. Cloud State poll: Minnesotans worry over jobs, budget; split on gay marriage

St. Cloud State poll: Minnesotans worry over jobs, budget; split on gay marriage Click to Enlarge Photo:

Nov 11, 2011 at 10:11 am

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KNSI) - Minnesotans say they're worried about unemployment and the state budget, are deeply divided over President Barack Obama and are effectively split over a state constitutional amendment to define marriage, according to the recent of an annual St. Cloud State opinion survey.

The school's 2011 statewide survey found 56 percent of respondents 18 or older think the state is headed in the wrong direction. Only 26 percent said they thought the state was headed in the right direction, while the remaining 18 percent were neutral or didn't know.

When asked about the largest problem facing Minnesota, unemployment and job opportunity fears topped the list at 22 percent, followed by the state budget and budget deficit (22 percent), the economy (14 percent), education funding and quality (9 percent), and politics and taxes tied at 6 percent. Unemployment ranked only third in the 2010 poll.

SCSU POLL: Read the results of the annual SCSU opinion poll on the gay marriage amendment, state politics and how Minnesotans feel about the direction of the state

Meanwhile, job performance ratings for President Obama and Gov. Mark Dayton stayed close to last year's finding, with Obama garnering a small uptick in support. Forty-one percent of respondents called Obama's job performance excellent or pretty good with the other 59 percent assessing his performance as fair or poor. Obama had only 38 percent of Minnesotans giving him top marks for performance in the 2010 survey.

As for Dayton, 45 percent ranked his job performance as excellent to pretty good, while 50 percent called it fair or poor. Five percent responded with "don't know."

In hypothetical pairings of presidential hopefuls, Obama again triumphed, scoring potential victories over all the major GOP White House hopefuls. Those responding gave Obama the edge over current GOP front-runners Mitt Romney (45 percent to 39 percent), Herman Cain (47 percent to 36 percent) and St. Cloud congresswoman Michele Bachmann (53 percent to 25 percent).

Also the poll finds more people opposed to than in favor of next year's constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, but by a very slim margin.

Forty-seven percent of those polled did not support amending the state's constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. The survey finds 44 percent in support of the proposal, while 9 percent are undecided or refused to answer.

The poll was taken Oct. 16-27, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

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