Minnesotans are divided on whether the state should legalize same-sex marriage, according to a new poll.
Public Policy Polling found that 47 percent of Minnesotans want to legalize unions between same-sex couples. About 45 percent oppose the measure.

The new poll comes as Minnesota legislators prepare for a showdown on whether to legalize same-sex marriage. Supporters feel emboldened by the recent defeat of a constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex-marriage. Opponents say the slim defeat was not a mandate to redefine marriage.

"Minnesota's marriage equality advocates are in a strong starting position if they decide to push to allow gay marriage," said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling.

The poll found a strong partisan split on the marriage issue. Seventy-four percent of Democrats favor same-sex marriage, while 79 percent of Republicans are opposed. Independent voters were about evenly split.

Given a choice, 43 percent of Minnesotans prefer same-sex marriage, while 32 percent support civil unions. Just 23 percent oppose any recognition of same-sex relationships.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 1065 Minnesotans Jan. 18 to 20. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percent. 

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