Mitt Romney’s favorability rating is at its highest point in the race, due almost completely to a surge of popularity among women, according to the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll:
One group where Romney has picked up considerable steam since mid-April is among GOP women, 80 percent of whom now have favorable views of the former Massachusetts governor. That’s up from 59 percent last month.
The shift among GOP women has also driven Romney to a fresh high among Republicans more broadly; as a group, 78 percent now hold favorable views of their party’s 2012 standard bearer. Some 84 percent of Democrats have positive views about Obama.
Because the shift is among Republican women, the typical post-primary readjustment could definitely be a factor. But also note that the same trend didn’t take place with men in general (in fact, Romney actually lost a bit of ground with men since last month).
And while Romney made inroads with women, Obama’s popularity dropped. Last month, 58 percent of women had a positive view of Obama and 36 percent had a negative view. In the latest poll, 51 percent had a positive view and 44 had a negative one. It’s not a massive shift, but it’s well beyond the 3.5 percent margin of error.
The survey also found that Romney’s gains were mainly among unmarried women, which he had very high unfavorables with earlier this spring. It’s another indication that if the “war on women” claims had any benefit for the Democrats, the boost was short-lived, as Romney’s favorability rating has improved dramatically with unmarried women since the narrative died down. While it may have had a temporary impact, the “war on women” just doesn’t seem to be effective as a long-term attack.