BOSTON (CBS) - Yes, polls come and go, and not all polls are created equal.
But if there's a single poll that's more significant than the rest, it's the USA Today/Gallup Poll, for the proven integrity of the Gallup organization and the size of the polling sample, nearly 900 likely voters.
Listen to Jon's commentary:
And the latest Gallup poll of the 12 swing states in the presidential race out contains an astonishing finding – the gender gap is gone.
Actually, not quite gone – Mitt Romney still leads among men by 12 points.
But the double-digit Democratic advantage among women that has been a staple of national politics for more than 30 years has, for the moment, vanished. And that's what is propelling Romney into a four point lead in the Gallup poll.
What is going on here?
After all, while most men told Gallup their most important issue was jobs and the economy, most women chose abortion, cited by four in ten.
Romney wants to see Roe v. Wade overturned and cut funds for Planned Parenthood.
The Democrats have been haranguing us about the so-called GOP "war on women" forever.
How on earth can Romney be breaking even with women?
Because – get this now – it seems all women do not think alike.
Hard to believe, I know, but Gallup reports that married women who tend to vote Republican are rallying behind Romney.
Obama and Romney on the issues: Weigh in on the Presidential Forum
Abortion may be issue #1 for forty percent of women, but that leaves 60 percent more concerned about… I don't know, maybe jobs and the economy?
And in general, women, being generally smarter than men, are more likely to keep an open mind late into the campaign, and thus may have been more inclined to dismiss the mega-millions in attack ads on Romney – just as they've long ignored the smears against Mr. Obama – and react to what they saw in the first debate.
Democratic pollster Celinda Lake told USA Today: "Women went into the debate actively disliking Romney, and they came out thinking he might understand their lives and might be able to get something done for them."
They may still change their minds on that.
But leave it to women to listen before leaping, and refusing to be led by the nose by those who take them for granted.
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