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Posted by on Apr 1, 2012 in Politics | 14 comments

Poll: Women Voters Fleeing Romney In Swing States Give Obama a Lead

A new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds President Barack Obama has opened up a lead in some key swing states over his likely Republican Presidential campaign rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. The reason: women voters continue to flee Romney — a major problem the GOP will have to fix in the general election campaign.

President Obama has opened the first significant lead of the 2012 campaign in the nation’s dozen top battleground states, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, boosted by a huge shift of women to his side.

In the fifth Swing States survey taken since last fall, Obama leads Republican front-runner Mitt Romney 51%-42% among registered voters just a month after the president had trailed him by two percentage points.

The biggest change came among women under 50. In mid-February, just under half of those voters supported Obama. Now more than six in 10 do while Romney’s support among them has dropped by 14 points, to 30%. The president leads him 2-1 in this group.

Romney’s main advantage is among men 50 and older, swamping Obama 56%-38%.

Republicans’ traditional strength among men “won’t be good enough if we’re losing women by nine points or 10 points,” says Sara Taylor Fagen, a Republican strategist and former political adviser to President George W. Bush. “The focus on contraception has not been a good one for us … and Republicans have unfairly taken on water on this issue.”

I bold faced that so I don’t get the usual emails about a)a poll’s methodology is wrong (if it doesn’t favor a partisan’s preference partisans of both parties try and dismiss the poll by raising the CYA issue of methodology; they never complain about the methodology of a poll favoring their candidate) and, b)the poll story only quotes Democrats but a Republican couldn’t possibly agree with it.

In the poll, Romney leads among all men by a single point, but the president leads among women by 18. That reflects a greater disparity between the views of men and women than the 12-point gender gap in the 2008 election.

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina says Romney’s promise to “end Planned Parenthood” — the former Massachusetts governor says he wants to eliminate federal funding for the group — and his endorsement of an amendment that would allow employers to refuse to cover contraception in health care plans have created “severe problems” for him in the general election.

The problem for Mitt Romney is going to be this: he will likely have less leeway than an other candidate in modern political history to moderate his primary election positions and move closer to the center. For one thing, conservatives are watching him. For another, the media is watching him. And, most importantly, the controversy over his campaign officia’s comments about general elections like using an Etch A Sketch means if Romney shifts position it will generate lots of stories and Democratic party campaign commerials — most likely featuring an Etch a Sketch.

But Romney and the GOP will have to solve this problem with women voters. Even with many Republican governors and legislatures putting in place laws that will now make it harder for some groups that traditionally vote Democratic to vote, this gender gap disparity could be the unintentional silver political bullet for the Dems.

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  • Jim Satterfield

    This puts Dean Esmay’s earlier post in perspective.

  • lesliemj

    Could 2012 be America ‘s Last Presidential Election? by Michael Savage

    “This is the most corrupt, incompetent, dangerous tyrannical administration in American history. It’s not politics as usual. It’s not just Democrats versus Republicans. Obama has a long history of being at odds with American values and with America itself and the core principles of this country.

    Obama has been wielding executive powers this past year as if he were already a dictator. When Congress is not doing his bidding, he simply bypasses them and used an executive order to accomplish it anyway. This has set the stage for his disbandment of Congress. He would not be the first world leader to take control of a nation and disband the legislative branch of government. With his control over the Executive and Judicial branches of the government, the stage is set for a complete takeover of the government.

  • The_Ohioan

    It could be a silver bullet or it could be a silver bulldozer. One would just kill you, the other can mangle you so badly you’d just wish you could die.

    Surely the Republican Party will now impose discipline on any candidate that wears the party label. This primary season has been a DISASTER for the party. I’ve been around for a lot of primaries and this one takes the cake.

  • Rcoutme

    @lesliemj: just because someone says it (or prints it) does not make it so.

  • Jim Satterfield

    I’m always amazed when anyone takes Michael Reagan seriously. Where is this corruption he rails about? Is it Iran-Contra? Oh, no, wait…

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist


    I believe lesliemj was quoting that little Limbaugh-aspiring hate radio talk show host who hardly anyone listens to, and everyone despises and ignores, Michael Savage — not Michael Reagan. Although, sometimes there is not much difference.

  • zephyr

    This is a huge disparity that Romney can’t be happy about. It isn’t surprising though, afterall, what are non-republican women supposed to make of him? He hasn’t been forceful at all in countering many of the GOP’s backward and offensive positions on things that matter to them. Why on earth would they put their faith in him? He does quite a poor job of articulating where he even stands on issues.

  • zephyr

    Don’t feed the trolls guys.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    @ zephir.

    You are right. Sorry.

    Attention is what thee critters live off.

  • bluebelle

    Is there a different conservative that could post on your site, Joe?? I know its none of my affair, but MR is such a total jackass. His column should be lining the bottom of birdcages everywhere, because at least then it would be useful for something!
    Not sure what expertise he actually has — wouldn’t he be digging ditches if he had a different last name??

    • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

      dear Bluebelle, We run MR posts from time to time. Not all agree with all who write here, you are right. We will continue to run MR, and if not one’s cup of tea, either skip or discuss the topic of the post. Our rules for commenters are to discuss without attacking the writer, even when the writer is syndicated. It’s a good rule and keeps matters civil here at TMV. I appreciate your thoughts, and let us go forward.

      archangel/ dr.e

  • slamfu

    Romney has plenty of time to walk back his support of the more draconian policies of the rest of his party. Its early April. We have 7 more months to go!!!

  • zephyr

    Personally I’m glad MR is posted here now and then. It serves to remind folks of just how far out on the fringes some of the voices are which influence the national discourse. It helps keep intelligent voters from becoming complacent.

  • Jim Satterfield

    Duh. You’re right, Dorian. That’s what I get for reading fast when my eyes are bugging me.

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