WaPo/ABC poll shows rebound for Romney among women

Yes, it’s the WaPo/ABC poll, and no, they don’t have the internals published on line, at least not yet.  Their advance data shows Mitt Romney narrowing the gap on Barack Obama overall, and especially among women, where Romney made some dramatic gains:

Republican women are rallying to Mitt Romney — their party’s now-certain presidential nominee — boosting him to his best-ever showing on a fundamental measure of personal popularity, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Overall, Romney’s favorability rating still trails President Obama’s, but the gap is far narrower than it’s been. In the new poll, 41 percent of all Americans express positive views of Romney; 52 percent do so for Obama. Just over a month ago, the president had a 56 to 35 percent advantage on this score.

ABC’s Gary Langer notes that all of Romney’s gains have from women, and this time not just married women, either:

All Romney’s gains have come among women – up by 13 percentage points in personal popularity from last month, while Obama’s lost 7 points among women. (Views among men have been more stable.) Obama’s rating among women, 51 percent favorable, still beats Romney’s 40 percent – but again that margin is far smaller than what it was six weeks ago.

An ABC/Post poll last week found improvement for Romney in vote preferences among married women. This survey finds that his gains in personal favorability, instead, come predominantly among unmarried women, who saw him uncommonly negatively earlier this spring.

However, that’s not entirely true.  Some of Romney’s gains in favorability came from independents as well.  In March, Romney had a -17 rating at 35/52, and a -13 in April with a 34/47.  In May, it’s narrowed to 40/46 for a -6, a dramatic improvement in the two months since the primaries were last contested.  In contrast, Obama has declined from a +4 in March at 50/46 and a +11 in April at 53/42 to a dramatic reversal of -7 at 45/52.

That’s a rather telling statistic, and one that shows just how far off the rails Team Obama has landed.  The campaign spent most of May hammering Romney on Bain Capital, which didn’t move the needle at all among Democrats, and may have damaged him among moderates (+28 in April to a +21), and certainly did with independents, as noted above.  The only other major line of attack was the so-called War on Women, and the numbers among unmarried women in this series shows how well Team O’s generals have performed in that attack.  Instead of being attracted by the creepy “Life of Julia,” it looks like Obama has repelled more than a few.

Bear in mind, of course, that we haven’t seen the full sample data, which presumably accompany the full release for their latest polling numbers.  It’s possible that the narrowing among women could just be an artifact of improving the partisan balance, which has been ridiculously tilted all year long in this series.  That doesn’t explain the momentum shift in unmarried women, though, nor the dramatic turnaround in independents between April and May.  If the samples are similar, Team Obama may need to start reaching for the panic button — especially if Friday’s jobs report turns out to be a dud.

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