8:52 am Oct. 25, 20121
A new Associated Press-Gfk poll shows Mitt Romney leading President Obama, 47 percent to 45 percent, thanks mainly to his improved standing with women voters.
Romney, who trailed Obama by 16 points among women in the same survey a month ago, has now drawn even with the president, 47 to 47.
The Obama campaign has hammered Romney on his positions on social issues like abortion and access to birth control, and 55 percent of women in the survey said they thought Obama would make the right decisions on women's issues, compared to just 41 percent for Romney.
Romney has been projecting a softer side on women's issues in recent weeks, saying there's no abortion legislation that would be part of his agenda (though a spokesperson subsequently restated his preference to ban most abortions), and restating his support for contraception.
The poll was conducted from Friday to Tuesday, so it includes some reactions to Monday's presidential debate, but does not include any reaction to comments from Richard Mourdock, the Republican Senate candidate in Indiana, asserting that pregnancies resulting from rape are "something God intended."
On the economy, women favor Romney 49 percent to 46 percent, reversing a big 16-point lead that Obama previously held.
The president was able to stay within the margin of error in the poll because of his own improved standing among male voters, who had previously favored Romney by 13 points, a gap that closed to 5 points in the latest poll.