Obama opens big gender gap in swing states

March 30, 2012

By David Jackson, USA TODAY

Another poll, another big lead for President Obama in a swing state — and more evidence that he is benefiting from a growing gender gap.

Obama leads Mitt Romney by 52-35% in Wisconsin, according to a new NBC News/Marist Poll — thanks in large part to a 25-point lead among women voters, 55-30%.

The president leads Republican candidate Rick Santorum by 51-38% in Wisconsin, says the poll.

Obama’s approval rating is 50% in Wisconsin, a state he carried easily in 2008.

The Wisconsin numbers come the same week that a Quinnipiac Poll gives Obama leads in the swing states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida — again, with significant leads among women voters.

“Women back the president over Romney or Santorum by 6 to 19 percentage points in the three states,” Quinnipiac reports.

Obama’s strength among women voters comes after weeks of news coverage about such issues as health insurance coverage for contraceptives. The political battles have included objections by the Catholic Church to Obama policies on contraception coverage, as well as Rush Limbaugh’s “slut” comment and apology.

But Quinnipiac also reported that all voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida “are much more concerned with the economy and health care than they are with social issues and women’s reproductive health.”

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