For a good part of the last month, conservatives deeply invested in culture-war issues, or in the career of Rush Limbaugh, or in the idea that American women secretly want to go back to the good old days before feminism ruined everything–yeah, those kind of conservatives–have been periodically cheering any bit of public opinion evidence indicating anything less than an impending disaster for Republicans among women.
Hope they enjoyed it before they read this:
President Obama has opened the first significant lead of the 2012 campaign in the nation’s dozen top battleground states, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, boosted by a huge shift of women to his side.
In the fifth Swing States survey taken since last fall, Obama leads Republican front-runner Mitt Romney 51%-42% among registered voters just a month after the president had trailed him by two percentage points.
The biggest change came among women under 50. 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%. The president leads him 2-1 in this group.
How are you going to explain that one, feminist-haters? Are the little ladies just too mathematically challenged to notice rising gas prices, the overwhelming, dominant issue of 2012?
At The Hill, Republican blogger Christian Heinze does offer a counter-argument against the poll’s bottom line, suggesting that the inclusion of WI, NM and MI as “swing states” skews it because Obama is almost certain to easily carry all three. I’m certainly interested to learn a Republican is willing to concede WI so early. But in any event, Heinze’s objection doesn’t explain the vast and increasing gender gap, or the likelihood the GOP has now dangerously raised expectations for a major cultural counter-revolution among its Christian Right-Tea Party base, while alarming a lot of women that they may well mean it.