The new Pew poll on the presidential election has a lot of interesting info. A few points:
1) As a lot of folks around here have been saying, birth control policy does not appear to be a high priority issue for voters. It’s the issue ranked second-to-last, ahead of only gay marriage.
2) Readers of my gender-gap column will not be surprised to learn that while women are more likely than men to support Obama, both sexes are moving against him in unison. “Obama has lost ground among both men and women at about the same rate over the past month.” (The poll still has him four points up, though.) The size of the gender gap “remains comparable to those in previous surveys during the current campaign, as well as past election cycles.”
3) Obama could be starting to have a Catholic problem. Over the last month he has gone from a 9-point lead to a 5-point deficit among Catholic voters, which is larger than his overall movement in the polls.
4) The swing vote looks smaller this year than it did after the 2008 primaries.
5) Romney is doing quite well among evangelicals and tea partiers. He is doing worse among liberal and moderate Republicans. He is narrowly winning independents.
I come away from the survey reinforced in my initial prejudices: The Romney campaign should worry less than most journalists claim it should about women, the contraception issue, and evangelicals; this looks like a tight election; and people should keep an eye on Catholic voters.