Poll: Boosted by women voters, Obama opens swing-state lead over Romney

posted at 8:30 am on April 2, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

With all the usual caveats about early polls in play, the generally reliably trending USA TODAY/Gallup Poll has seen a rather abrupt turn in the battleground states over the past month among one demographic. Women.

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.

We’re still waiting for the D/R/I, so there’s more than a little chance that the hard number is much closer than the top line here. But, as always, we tend to watch the trend lines more the “concrete” figures. This is one poll which has tracked fairly closely in past months with other surveys which showed Obama’s support wavering in a number of areas, frequently cited by conservative pundits. In fact, at the close of February, Obama was losing this demographic (women) by a slight margin and struggling against Romney. Why the change?

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.”

This was always going to be a dicey issue, but the media has really brought it to the forefront, though still not as much as jobs and the economy. Demographic prognostication is always tricky at best, particularly when you’re trying to measure the impact of minority groups. But when it comes to the “he said she says” vote, you can’t dodge very many bullets. Romney will have to do much better than this with women across all demographic lines in the swing states. So, assuming he winds up being the nominee, some damage control may be in order on this front.

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the church was in the practice of posthumously baptizing Jews. The goal, of course, is to turn off those fundamentalist Christians who don’t like Romney anyway by giving them yet another reason to stay home from the polls.

The best strategy for Romney would be to speak openly about his personal faith journey while avoiding or deflecting questions that force him in a position of defending his church or its practices. We are, after all, electing a President not a prophet.

Happy Nomad on April 2, 2012 at 11:45 AM

First of all…this is a problem for the Jewish community, I don’t know why you included “fundamentalist Christians”. The Jews have expressed serious concerns, in fact told them they didn’t want that, and lo and behold, the prophets suddenly spoke with God and agreed…than they went back on the agreement, I guess God had second thoughts, and the Jews had a “coming to Jesus” meeting and straightened them out once and for all…no baptizing of dead Jews, I am pretty sure they and their Gods got the message this time, it was pretty absolute.

right2bright on April 2, 2012 at 6:22 PM

we should be talking about banning hardcore porn, telling kids not to go to college, banning abortion, limiting access to contraceptives, and preventing gay marriage. Those are the real important issues of the day.

milcus on April 2, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Don’t know who you think you are talking to with this, but I’m not on board with any of it. I’m also not on board with a wuss like Romney, who a) can’t stop bashing his allies, b) has no clue how to go after Obama in a way that will resonate with the country and c) can’t handle criticism. I don’t mind voting for a moderate. I mind voting for a weakling.

alwaysfiredup on April 2, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Women…was it ever smart giving the right to vote to those who make their decisions on looks or “charm” alone?

Twana on April 2, 2012 at 7:10 PM

i read on another thread here that the internals were

42 percent democrat
24 percent republican

what do you expect

gerrym51 on April 2, 2012 at 8:36 AM


At first brush, it appears Barry/Axelrod/Fluke’s manufactured controversy and alleged Republican War on Women are working. In the swing states, Romney’s support among women dropped by 14 points since Feb and Barry is leading 51 to 42% on the basis of the swing of the women’s votes.

But if one looks closer: Gallup/USA today oversampled democratic women to republican women 41% to 24% (2 to 1). Party affiliation is about equal in males polled, and within that group , Romney is beating Barry. Talk about a fabricated push poll. Those people making up this poll has no shame.

galtani on April 1, 2012 at 8:29 PM

I don’t know whether gerrym51 was referring to my post last night addressing this poll. I have give the poll some more thought.

Yes, there is an oversampling of women by 2 to 1 favoring democrats, but there is always more voters registering as democrats than as republicans. So the poll is biased, but we should not totally disregard the result and dismiss off hand the effect on women when they associated the GOP with the alleged war on women and the soap opera of Fluke testimony and that she was called a whore and prostitute afterwards.

I believe there was some negative impact on the GOP candidates running, even though it may not be as big as suggested by this poll. Santorum bore the blunt of the negative view and Romney, who tried to steer away from the controversy, still get side-swiped.

Much as some here do not want to ( and never will) accept that Romney will be the nominee, it is important to unite and sharpen and focus the message to try to defeat Barry.

galtani on April 2, 2012 at 8:14 PM

This would be a different nation if only men were voting. A better nation without trillions of dollars of debt.

I’m ashamed of my gender sometimes. This is one of those times.

Grace_is_sufficient on April 2, 2012 at 8:42 PM

Sandra Fluke who decided that it is her “right” to get somebody else pay for her contraception and introduced the frequency of her sexual adventures into Congressional testimony for all to see. It is that reason that she is a slut.

Gee, Nomad, looks like you and I are the only ones who actually read Fluke’s testimony.

Funny thing, though, I have re-read it and still don’t find where she said the things you claim she said:

1. She demands someone pays for her contraception
2. She “introduces the frequency of her sexual adventures into Congressional testimony for all to see.”

Can you show me where in her testimony she says either of these things? Thanks! And oh, by the way, repeating that she is a slut because you and Limbaugh say so is not good enough. Show me the actual quote from her testimony.

By the way — call me old-fashioned, but I would expect a gentleman to provide his own condom in the event that an evening took a romantic turn. Since when have women had to pay for this rather crude and unreliable form of birth control?

str8tface on April 2, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Ah, and on the verge of securing the nomination, the Mr. “most-electable” bus has the air let out of the tires.

This is why we should simply nominate conservatives and be done with the leftist memes.

Theophile on April 3, 2012 at 12:35 AM

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