If there really is a "war on women," Republicans appear to be winning the battle for the female vote. A new CBS News/New York Times poll shows Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney barely ahead of President Barack Obama among female registered voters.
Forty-six percent of female registered voters said they would vote for Romney while 42 percent said they would vote for Obama. In the same poll a month earlier, Obama led among female registered voters 49-43 percent. Generally speaking, Republicans do better with male voters and Democrats do well with female voters.
Romney also narrowly leads among both genders, 46 to 43 percent.
The poll also shows that a majority believe Obama changed his position on same-sex marriage for political reasons. An Obama campaign spokesperson believes the poll is biased.
In response to the Obama administration's birth control mandate, many Democrats have accused Republicans of waging a "war on women."
The mandate requires employers to provide coverage for contraception, sterilization and some abortifacient drugs without a co-pay. Some Republicans and religious freedom advocates objected that the mandate violated religious conscience protections because many religious groups that opposed those services would still have to pay for them. Democrats countered that the mandate was necessary to provide for women's health.
Republicans have objected strongly to the accusation that they are waging a war against women. Some have countered that the Democrats are waging a war against religion.
Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, accused the CBS/NYT poll of using a biased sample in a Tuesday interview on MSNBC. Cutter noted that the poll re-polled the same respondents from an April poll, which, she said, was an outlier compared to other polls at the time.
"I don't want to go through methodology on your show -- I think your viewers would get bored by it. But they sampled a biased sample, so they re-biased the same sample. I think the results of that poll are pretty flawed," Cutter said.
The main finding that seemed to concern Cutter, though, did not have to do with the female vote, but how voters felt about Obama's announcement last week that he now supports same-sex marriage.
Sixty-seven percent of registered voters said that Obama made the decision for political reasons. Only 24 percent believe he did it because he believes it is the right thing to do. Even among Democrats, a plurality, 48 percent, believe Obama did it for political reasons.
The May 11-13 poll of 615 registered voters has a sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points for the full sample.