This week, as Susan Fields observes, it is clear that strategy failed so badly that the long running gap between male and female voters has been practically erased.
The Gallup Poll now shows Mitt Romney trailing the president by only a point among women who are likely to vote in 12 swing states. This follows a Pew Research Center poll taken after the first presidential debate showing that President Obama’s 18-point lead among women had shrunk to a tie, 47 percent to 47 percent.
“In every poll, we’ve seen a major surge among women in favorability for Romney,” Democratic pollster Celinda Lake told USA Today after the first debate. These polls find women increasingly concerned with the deficit and debt, just like men. The social issues continue to be more important to women than to men, but these issues no longer dominate the discussion. [snip] In the second debate, Romney looked deeper into the dark side of Obama accounting, finding that 3.5 million more women are living in poverty than before he took charge of the economy. Women understand that an economy with 7.8 percent unemployment, when half of college graduates can’t find good jobs, is not good for anyone.
I don’t disagree with Fields’ assessment that the terrible Obama economy and its effect on women have a lot to do with the shift, but I suggest that there’s a great deal more to it.