Obama had had a very comfortable margin over Romney with women voters. But since his incompetent debate performance, women have given Mitt Romney a second look.
And now many of them are deciding to vote for him.
So many that Romney is beating Obama in the Battleground States:
Mitt Romney leads President Obama by five 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.
This is a stunning reversal, and bodes ill for Obama’s chances of a second term.
That makes women, especially blue-collar "waitress moms" whose families have been hard-hit by the nation's economic woes, the quintessential swing voters in 2012's close race.
"In every poll, we've seen a major surge among women in favorability for Romney" since his strong performance in the first debate, veteran Democratic pollster Celinda Lake says.
"Women went into the debate actively disliking Romney, and they came out thinking he might understand their lives and might be able to get something done for them."
While Lake believes Obama retains an edge among women voters, the changed views of Romney could be "a precursor to movement" to the Republican candidate, she says. "It opens them up to take a second look, and that's the danger for Obama."
Obama cobbled together a coalition of supporters, with women one of its key foundation stones. Right now that stone is starting to crack.
If Obama cannot reverse this trend in the second debate, it will most likely accelerate.