Shifting Women’s Vote Thrusts Obama Ahead of Romney

Monday, 02 Apr 2012 12:41 PM

By Greg McDonald

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President Barack Obama is beginning to pull away from Republican front-runner Mitt Romney among women throughout the nation, according to several polls.

Obama has opened a significant lead over Romney in the nation’s top battleground states, mostly due to a major change in how women under 50 are planning to vote, according to the latest USA Today/Gallup poll.

The poll of at least a dozen key states gave Obama a 51 to 42 percent lead over Romney among registered voters. The finding was significant because the same poll taken in February had the president trailing Romney by 2 percentage points.

The biggest change, USA Today reported, came in the views expressed by women under 50. In mid-February, just under half of those women supported Obama. Now, more than six in 10 do and Romney’s support from this group has dropped 14 points to 30 percent.

The new poll largely reflected what other surveys in Wisconsin and other states have shown — that women appear to be turning away from Romney and Republicans in general in favor of the president.

For example, an NBC News/Marist poll of Wisconsin voters released last week showed that Obama leads Romney among women in that state, which holds its primary Tuesday, by a margin of 55 percent to 30 percent.

Another Quinnipiac University poll, also released last week, noted a significant shift among women towards Obama as well in the key swing states of Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

“Women back the president over Romney or [Rick] Santorum by 6 to 19 percentage points in the three states,” according to the Quinnipiac poll analysis.

The analysis also found that while women’s concerns about reproductive health and other social issues has been dominating recent news coverage of the GOP campaign, an increasing number of voters believe the economy is improving, a view that helps Obama rather than Republicans.

A third nationwide poll taken in mid-March by the Pew Research Center also found that Obama leads among women voters by 20 percent over Romney and 26 percent over Santorum.

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