Four years ago, on the eve of the 2006 midterms, men were evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats in their voting intentions for the House, while women were Democratic by 22 percentage points. Today, Newport said, 52 percent of men say they plan to vote Republican and 40 percent say they will vote for the Democrat. Women are the opposite: 52 percent Democrat and 40 percent Republican…

In Delaware, where Republican Christine O’Donnell shocked the GOP establishment by defeating Rep. Michael Castle in the Senate primary, women are the principal reason O’Donnell now badly trails Democratic nominee Chris Coons. The CNN poll found that, among likely voters, Coons led O’Donnell 55 percent to 39 percent. Men backed Coons by just three points. Women favored him by a 2-to-1 margin (61 vs. 32 percent)…

But there are obstacles this year. Democrats do better among unmarried women than among married women. But unmarried women have been hit hard by the recession and may be more difficult than usual to motivate. “They’re in tough shape, and they’re hard to get energized,” said Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg.