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Published July 19, 2012, 11:27 AM

Minnesota marriage amendment foes wining money race

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Opponents of Minnesota's proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage seem to be winning the money race, but supporters say they're confident voters will approve it anyway.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Opponents of Minnesota's proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage seem to be winning the money race, but supporters say they're confident voters will approve it anyway.

Minnesotans United for All Families, the largest group opposing the amendment, held a six-to-one fundraising advantage over the main group backing the amendment from Jan 1 to July 10, according to financial reports filed this week. It raised about $3.8 million in the first part of the year to boost its grand total to just under $5.4 million.

Minnesota for Marriage collected about $620,000 in the same period to bring its total to nearly $1.5 million. But its chairman, John Helmberger, told Minnesota Public Radio he's not worried.

"Various studies elsewhere have shown that for all the millions spent in marriage amendment campaigns, there aren't a lot of minds that are changed," Helmberger said. "It's mainly one of voter turnout."

Helmberger said his campaign's 68,000 volunteers will get their voters to the polls. The campaign has just a handful of paid staff.

By contrast, Minnesotans United for all Families has about 75 paid staffers and eight offices statewide.

"Since the beginning, we've had a really vigorous grassroots campaign — knocking on doors, calling people on the phone, having lots of events — so the money helps us continue and sustain that," spokeswoman Kate Brickman said.

University of Minnesota political scientist Larry Jacobs said not many Minnesotans remain persuadable.

"But there could well be 20 percent or so of folks who are going to turn out and vote who haven't yet made up minds, who haven't focused on the issue or they don't feel intensely about it, Jacobs said. "Those are the folks that are being battled over today and for the coming few months."

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