October 25 2012

Romney Pulling Even with Obama Among Women

Karin Agness

Throughout this election cycle, Democrats have played up the idea that there is a war on women.  This strategy does not seem to be working with women voters.  According to a new Associated Press-GfK poll, Mitt Romney is tied with Barack Obama among women voters.

The AP-GfK poll, taken Friday through Tuesday, shows Romney pulling even with Obama among women at 47-47 after lagging by 16 points a month earlier.

Romney’s effort to reach women voters largely has been centered on convincing them, like all Americans, that his policies will improve the economy.

A month ago, women favored Obama over Romney on the economy 56 percent to 40 percent. Now, the split has shifted to 49 percent for Romney and 45 percent for Obama.

Similarly, Obama's lead among women as the candidate who better understands the people's problems has narrowed considerably, from a 58-36 Obama advantage last month to a 50-43 Obama edge now.

This poll is consistent with a poll Charlotte wrote about earlier this month. For all that we hear in the news about the gender gap Republicans face for women voters, this most recent poll really is incredible.

The issues have always been more complicated than Democrats have conveyed in their war on women rhetoric.  It is a victory for women that so many women are rejecting this rhetoric and seem to be supporting candidates based on their policies.

Don’t forget about the men! At the same time as Romney is soaring with women voters, the candidates are also fighting to reach male voters.

Obama, meanwhile, has been working to shore up his support among men, who tend to be more Republican than women. In the 2008 election, men broke 49 percent for Obama to 48 percent for John McCain, even though Obama got 53 percent of the vote overall. The president's job approval ratings among men have tended to fall below his ratings among women throughout his first term.

A month ago, Romney's advantage among men was 13 percentage points. Now, it's down to 5 points, with most of the shift toward Obama coming among unmarried men.

We hear so much about the candidates trying to reach unmarried women.  It will be interesting to see if unmarried men turn out to be a key voting block and the new focus of the gender gap research.

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