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Poll: Races, Genders Sharply Divided on Medicare Expansion in Va.

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The Pew study showed that these Americans are afflicted with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or cancer -- and many are diagnosing themselves through the Internet. (credit: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

The Pew study showed that these Americans are afflicted with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or cancer — and many are diagnosing themselves through the Internet. (credit: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

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RICHMOND, Va. — A new statewide poll in Virginia shows a sharp societal divide over the question of whether to expand Medicaid — something that won’t happen for a while in the state because of reform hurdles Gov. Bob McDonnell has set for it.

Quinnipiac University’s survey of 1,098 registered Virginia voters found 45 percent favor expanding the federal-state program that helps pay healthcare costs for the elderly, poor and disabled to about 400,000 Virginians just above the poverty level. Forty-three percent did not.

That’s within the poll’s margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Women favor expansion 48 percent to 39 percent, and men oppose it 48 percent to 42 percent. Black voters back expansion 68 percent to 20 percent, while whites oppose it 50 percent to 38.

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(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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