Democrats’ Advantage Among Women Is Shrinking

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Obama’s Slipping Poll Numbers, Global Unease Narrows Gender Gap

The Democratic Party’s advantage among women, an important bulwark against expected Republican gains this fall, is slipping amid declining support for President Barack Obama and a rise in national-security concerns, recent polling shows.

Democrats continue to hold a solid edge over Republicans among women, but this past week’s Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found a narrower margin. Some 47% of women said they wanted the midterm elections to produce a Democratic-controlled Congress, seven points more than the share backing a GOP-led Congress. Just a month earlier, women had favored a Democratic Congress by 14 points, 51% to 37%.

Moreover, women registered new lows of their view of Mr. Obama’s job performance, especially on his handling of foreign policy, a noteworthy turn among what had been a reliably supportive group.

“The results among women in this poll should be a cautionary tale for Democrats,” said Jeff Horwitt, a Democratic pollster, who said women’s mood was beginning to look more like it did before the 2010 midterm elections that delivered big GOP gains. Republicans drew more votes from women that year than Democrats, exit polls found. What is unclear is whether the new data mark “a trend or a blip,” said Mr. Horwitt, who helped conduct the Sept. 3-7 survey with Republican Bill McInturff.

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