Obama Trouncing GOP Candidates Among Female Voters

Among women, President Obama has opened a 20-point margin over Mitt Romney.

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The battle over contraception and other social issues aimed at women seem to have given President Obama an advantage with the ladies in the polls.

A Pew Research Study released Friday shows that women voters prefer Obama to Mitt Romney by 20 points. When put up against former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, the gender gap is wider: 61 percent of women back Obama while only 35 percent support Santorum.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Catholic contraception controversy.]

In the past 30 years, polls have shown women to lean to the political left more than their male counterparts.

In the 2008 presidential election, 56 percent of women cast ballots for Obama against 43 percent who voted for Arizona Sen. John McCain.

A closer look, however, reveals that there are some nuances within the female voting population.

Younger women prefer Obama by greater margins than older women do. Women under 50 prefer the president to Romney by a 64 percent to 33 percent margin. But among women 65 and older, Romney actually leads Obama by a point.

White women are evenly split between Romney and Obama.

The Pew poll also revealed a marriage gap: a woman's relationship status significantly influences the way she votes. More than 60 percent of single women polled said they leaned to the political left, while 31 percent said they leaned right. Married women, however, were more evenly split, with 45 percent identifying as right-leaning and 48 percent saying they veered to the left.

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