Mitt Romney leads President Obama by four percentage points among likely voters in the nation's top battlegrounds, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, and he has growing enthusiasm among women to thank.
As the presidential campaign heads into its final weeks, the survey of voters in 12 crucial swing states finds female voters much more engaged in the election and increasingly concerned about the deficit and debt issues that favor Romney. The Republican nominee now ties the president among women who are likely voters, 48%-48%, while he leads by 12 points among men.
If that's true, Obama's dead. Gone. Toast. Tied among women and a 12 point edge among men pretty much equals a Romney win equivalent to Obama's margin over John McCain in 2008.
The Obama camp doesn't buy it for a second.
"In the last election, Gallup's registered voter model — not its likely voter model — was a much more accurate predictor, with their likely model missing the mark in 2010 by 9 points right before the election," Benenson says. "That explains why Gallup's results are way out of line with a dozen recent swing state polls that show the president with a double-digit lead among women."
Among all registered voters in the survey, Obama leads by nine points among women and by two points overall, 49%-47%.
So, Gallup's likely voter model is skewed toward Mitt Romney here by seven to nine points overall, which is the equivalent of 14-18 points with women voters. If you believe that's how this election will play out, then yes, he'll win and win handily.
But that's ignoring the fact that Gallup's likely voter model was a disaster 2 years ago. It looks to be equally disastrous now.