Today’s USA Today/Gallup swing state poll is the latest sign that Mitt Romney is cutting into President Obama’s lead with women. The candidates are now in a virtual tie, even though Obama had a major advantage with women voters for most of the election:
Mitt Romney leads President Obama by four percentage points among likely voters in the nation’s top battlegrounds, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, and he has growing enthusiasm among women to thank.
As the presidential campaign heads into its final weeks, the survey of voters in 12 crucial swing states finds female voters much more engaged in the election and increasingly concerned about the deficit and debt issues that favor Romney. The Republican nominee has pulled within one point of the president among women who are likely voters, 48%-49%, and leads by 8 points among men.
Chicago is on edge, as you can see from this memo by Obama strategist Joel Benenson, which attacks Gallup for “defying trends” and “distorting the composition of likely voters”:
The latest Gallup/ USA Today Battleground survey showing President Obama and Governor Romney tied with women in battleground states (48-48) is an extreme outlier, defying the trends seen in every other battleground and national poll. …
Gallup’s data is once again far out of line with other public pollsters.
The memo includes a chart of 14 post-debate swing state polls, which show Obama with an average lead of 10 points among women. But the chart only includes three polls conducted in the past week. It doesn’t include last week’s Times/Bay News/Herald poll in Florida, which found the two candidates virtually tied with likely women voters, a major shift from Obama’s 15-point lead last month. It also doesn’t include last week’s WMUR poll of New Hampshire, which found Romney whittled Obama’s 27-point lead among likely women voters down to 9 points.
In addition, today’s Gallup/USA Today poll mirrors last week’s national Pew poll, which found Obama and Romney tied with likely women voters. The president had led Romney by 18-points with women in the same poll last month.
Contrary to the Obama campaign’s memo, the Gallup poll seems like more of a continuation of a trend than an outlier. Which may explain why the campaign is desperately swinging at it in a public memo.