Bloomberg News

Obama Leads Romney by 18 Points Among Women

October 02, 2012

Obama Leads Romney With 18-Point Advantage Among Women

President Barack Obama greets supporters on the tarmac upon his arrival at McCarran International airport, on Sept. 30, 2012 in Las Vegas. Photographer: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

President Barack Obama’s advantage over Republican challenger Mitt Romney among female voters is similar to his pre-election margins four years ago, though Obama’s edge among all voters is smaller than at a similar point in 2008.

Obama leads by 56 percent to 38 percent among women in a survey of likely voters released today by Quinnipiac University. Romney leads among men, 52 percent to 42 percent. He had a four- percentage-point advantage among all voters.

Obama was favored similarly among women four years ago, while Romney is faring better among men than the 2008 Republican nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain, polls showed.

Quinnipiac showed Obama with a 14-point lead, 54 percent to 40 percent, among likely women voters in a Sept. 11-16, 2008, poll, as McCain led among men, 50 percent to 43 percent. A Pew Research Center poll of registered voters taken Sept. 27-29, 2008, put Obama ahead among women, 54 percent to 37 percent, while McCain led among men, 47 percent to 43 percent.

On Election Day 2008, exit polls showed Obama beating McCain among women, 56 percent to 43 percent, and winning by one point among men, 49 percent to 48 percent. Obama won the overall popular vote, 53 percent to 46 percent, and the Electoral College vote, 365 to 173.

Gender Gap

Female voters have been more supportive of Democrats for decades, while men vote more Republican. The so-called gender gap owes partly to women being more supportive of federal government programs than men.

Peter A. Brown, assistant director of Hamden, Connecticut- based Quinnipiac’s polling institute, said it was “very difficult to win an election when you are getting shellacked among women, the group that makes up about half the electorate.”

Obama held a 49 percent to 45 percent margin among all voters in the latest Quinnipiac survey of 1,912 likely voters taken Sept. 25-30. That matches his lead in the daily Gallup tracking poll for the period Sept. 24-30. The president led by 49 percent to 47 percent in an ABC News/Washington Post survey of likely voters conducted Sept. 26-29. Obama held a 49 percent to 43 percent advantage among likely voters in a Bloomberg National Poll conducted Sept. 21-24.

2008 Polls

Obama had a larger lead over McCain among all voters at this point four years ago.

Obama led McCain by 49 percent to 42 percent in a Gallup survey of registered voters conducted Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2008, and based on a three-day rolling average.

Obama held the same 49 percent to 42 percent advantage among registered voters in a poll conducted Sept. 27-29, 2008, by the Pew Research Center. He held a 45 percent to 41 percent edge among likely voters in a Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2008, poll conducted by Lake Research Partners, a Democratic firm, and the Tarrance Group, a Republican firm.

All of the surveys were conducted after the first presidential debate on Sept. 26 and before the second debate on Oct. 7, and after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history on Sept. 15. Obama and Romney hold their first of three debates tomorrow in Denver, Colorado. It starts at 9 p.m. Washington time and focuses on the economy and other domestic issues.

Favorability Ratings

In the Quinnipiac poll released today, 50 percent viewed Obama favorably and 47 percent viewed him unfavorably. For Romney, the percentages were almost reversed, 48 percent unfavorable and 45 percent favorable.

Sixty percent of voters said Obama cared about their needs and problems, while 51 percent said Romney didn’t care, according to the poll. Fifty-five percent, including 54 percent of independents, said Romney’s policies would favor the rich.

Half of the likely voters surveyed said the economy was the most important issue, and they deadlocked on which candidate would do a better job handling it, 48 percent for Obama and 47 percent for Romney. By 39 percent to 34 percent, voters said the economy was improving.

“Some critical keys to the president’s lead are that Romney has not convinced voters that he would do a better job on the economy,” Brown said.

While 93 percent of those surveyed said they planned to watch the presidential debates, 86 percent said they didn’t expect to change their minds as a result of what the candidates said. Also, 54 percent said they expected Obama to win the debates, compared with 28 percent for Romney.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at jsalant@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net


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