Romney’s pitch to women has been focused squarely on the economy, making the case that what women want most is to ensure their families and their country are on a solid financial footing. The poll shows that message appears to be taking root.

A month ago, women favored Obama over Romney on the economy 56 percent to 40 percent. Now, the split has shifted to 49 percent for Romney and 45 percent for Obama.

Similarly, Obama’s lead among women as the candidate who better understands the people’s problems has narrowed considerably, from a 58-36 Obama advantage last month to a 50-43 Obama edge now.

Monica Jensen, a 55-year-old independent from Mobile, Ala., says she voted for Obama in 2008 but will shift her vote to Romney this time, largely because of the economy.

“I’m ready for a change,” she said. “I want to see the economy go in a different direction.”