Mormons overwhelmingly support Romney

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Women and older voters helped Hillary Clinton while blacks overwhelmingly backed Barack Obama in initial preference for Nevada's Democratic presidential caucuses Saturday, a preliminary survey found. In the state's Republican caucuses, Mormons almost unanimously supported Mitt Romney as he romped in a barely contested race.

Other Clinton strongholds among early arrivers for the Democratic caucuses included Catholics, wealthier voters, and those who placed a priority on health care and on a candidate having the right experience, according to early results from the survey conducted for The Associated Press and television networks.

Obama was winning nearly eight in 10 black voters and six in 10 of all caucus-goers age 18 to 29, the early survey found. He was running even with Clinton among self-described independents, but behind among Democrats. At least half the early caucus-goers said it was most important to them that a candidate can bring about needed change and Obama was taking a narrow majority of them.

On the Republican side, Mormons comprised a quarter of those attending Nevada's GOP caucuses, and more than nine in 10 were voting for Romney. Romney is a Mormon, and his religion has been cited as a problem by some Republican voters.

About half of Romney's overall vote in Nevada came from Mormons.

The results were from surveys conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International as voters entered 20 sites each in the Democratic and Republican caucuses in Nevada. The initial Democratic survey included interviews with 505 voters and was subject to sampling error of plus or minus 7 percentage points. The preliminary Republican results were from interviews with 573 voters, with sampling error of 6 points.


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