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Poll Finds Split Over Clinton Gold Mine Deal

Montana voters are sharply divided about President Clinton’s deal to halt development of the New World gold mine at the edge of Yellowstone National Park.

A poll for the Lee Newspapers found 38 percent approved of the deal, 34 percent disapproved, and 28 percent were undecided.

In August, Clinton promised Crown Butte Mines Inc. $65 million in public land or assets if it would drop plans for its proposed New World Mine.

Clinton announced the deal Aug. 12. Some have accused him of simply trying to win votes and draw attention from the Republican national convention.

Environmentalists strongly opposed the mine, saying it threatened the park, nearby streams and the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. Miners said the project was environmentally sound and safe and would create 175 jobs.

The poll surveyed 807 registered voters by telephone from Sept. 20-23 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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