Female voters in battleground states are rallying around President Obama in droves, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday, suggesting a gender gap could pose one of the Republicans' biggest challenges in this fall's general election race.
Obama led Mitt Romney by 18 percentage points among female registered voters in the nation's top 12 swing states. The gender gap between Obama and Rick Santorum was 15 points. USA Today reports that this is the "first significant lead" the president has held in these key voting states.
Those leads represent big gains for the president, compared to previous swing state polls conducted by USA Today/Gallup, according to USA Today:
"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."
Recent Quinnipiac University polls conducted in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania bore out similar results.