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A new Washington Post/ABC poll has some interesting data points showing just how much the Republican War On Women® is hurting Romney.

If a Romney-Obama matchup were held today, registered voters would divide 51 percent for the president to 44 percent for the former Massachusetts governor. That is similar to the edge Obama held in a Post-ABC poll in February; the two were more evenly matched in March.

A wide gender gap underlies the current state of the race. Romney is up eight percentage points among male voters but trails by 19 among women. Among independent voters, one of the most watched groups in the electorate, the two men are closely paired, with 48 percent supporting Romney and 46 percent backing Obama.

In addition to his big lead among women — Obama won that demographic by 13 points in 2008 — the president is moving to secure other key elements of his winning coalition. As he did four years ago, he has overwhelming support from African Americans — 90 percent back his reelection effort — and he has a big lead among those ages 18 to 29. As ever, one issue will be how many of these young adults register to vote and turn out.

A month ago a similar poll by WaPo/ABC found Obama with only a 6 point lead among women. From that poll conducted March 7-10:
WOMEN – One recent focus has been the notion of a movement toward the Democratic Party among women, on the basis of recent controversies including the debate over Obama administration policy on insurance coverage of women’s birth control.

This poll shows the possibility of Democratic gains among women, but no measurable effect at this point. While women are 12 points more apt than men to identify themselves as Democrats, that essentially matches the long-term norm. Largely because of that partisan gap, Obama’s approval rating is 9 points higher among women than men, but again this is typical.

Compared with last month, disapproval of Obama’s job performance is up slightly among men, and there’s no increase in approval among women. And on vote preference vs. Romney, Obama did better among men and women alike last month, and has lost ground slightly among both sexes this month. In the latest results Romney has a 12-point lead among men who are registered voters; among women, it’s Obama +6.

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