Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney appears to have gotten at least one boost coming out of his party's convention in Tampa last week, and that's with women voters.
According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Wednesday, President Barack Obama's favorability among women voters has plunged by 7 percent. In April, a similar survey showed 57 percent of women viewing him positively versus 39 percent not. But now, only 46 percent of women surveyed viewed the president favorably, compared to 50 percent unfavorably.
"Romney notched a slight 7-point gain in favorability among women from last week to this, to 41-48 percent, favorable-unfavorable," said poll analyst Gary Langer in a memo accompanying the results.
Women have traditionally favored Democratic candidates over Republicans, and the margin between Obama and Romney is expected to play a large role in determining the outcome of the election. Keynote speeches delivered during both the Republican and Democratic conventions have focused on appealing to women. Republicans, including Romney's wife, Ann, emphasized economic issues as a key part of women's lives, whereas Democrats paired pocketbook issues with social issues, such as abortion and legislation known as the Violence Against Women Act.
Overall, Obama is still more personally popular than Romney, with 47 percent viewing him positively compared to 43 percent for the GOP challenger.
"Notably, Romney's gap vs. Obama is far closer now than last spring--then a 14-point advantage for Obama in favorable ratings among registered voters, today a scant 4 points," said Langer.
The poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus about 4 points, showed Romney solidifying support among Republicans as well, but also showed that race is by no means settled.
"Obama continues to do considerably better than Romney among moderate, 57-40 percent favorable-unfavorable for the president versus 36-54 percent for his challenger," Langer said. "Both are struggling among independents, often swing voters, and the predominant political group in recent years. They see Obama more unfavorably than favorably by a scant 6-point margin; Romney, by 17."
Political pundits, noting how dramatically Obama's support among women has fluctuated, say this latest survey may be an outlier.
Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter.