In Gallup's final pre-election poll earlier this week, President Barack Obama led among women voters by 12 points while Mitt Romney held an 8-point edge among men.
That, according to the national research organization, created the largest gender gap "since it began compiling the vote by major subgroups in 1952." The chart below, courtesy of Gallup, illustrates how the gender gap in this year's campaign stacks up historically.
According to Gallup, Obama's smaller margin of victory in 2012 was attributed to Romney performing more strongly among male voters than Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) did four years ago.
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Notably, Obama's 12-percentage-point advantage among women is slightly less than the 14-point advantage he had over John McCain in 2008, while Romney improved on McCain's performance among men by eight points. Thus, the narrowing of Obama's winning margin between the two elections, from seven points to two points, can be ascribed mainly to men's shifting more Republican.