US President Barack Obama has opened a nine-point lead over Republican presidential nomination frontrunner Mitt Romney in the country’s dozen top battleground states, a new poll has found. The survey, by USA Today and Gallup, indicated that the president owes this advantage mainly to a huge shift of women to his side.
In the fifth Swing States survey taken since last fall, Obama leads Romney 51 percent to 42 percent among registered voters.
A month ago, the president trailed Romney by 2 percentage points, USA Today said. The biggest change came among women under 50, the report said. In mid-February, just under half of those voters supported Obama. Now more than six in 10 do, while Romney’s support among them has dropped by 14 points, to 30 percent. The president leads the former Massachusetts governor 2-1 in this group, USA Today said. Romney’s main advantage is among men 50 and older, where he leads Obama 56 percent to 38 percent.
However, Republicans’ traditional strength among men “won’t be good enough if we’re losing women by nine points or 10 points,” Republican strategist Sara Taylor Fagen is quoted by the newspaper as saying. “The focus on contraception has not been a good one for us — and Republicans have unfairly taken on water on this issue.”