According to the latest poll numbers, the gender gap is on track to hit historic highs in the upcoming presidential election. The split isn't terribly surprising. President Obama, as expected, is holding his own among women voters, and Romney is the favorite among men. But the split is big, perhaps bigger than ever. "If only women voted, President Obama would be on track for a landslide re-election, equaling or exceeding his margin of victory over Senator John McCain in 2008," New York Times polling wizard Nate Silver explains. "If only men voted, Mr. Obama would be biding his time until a crushing defeat at the hands of Mitt Romney, who might win by a margin similar to the one Ronald Reagan realized over Jimmy Carter in 1980."
It gets more interesting when you dig down into the numbers. One poll put the gender gap at a staggering 33 points, whereas the average of those reviewed by Silver put it at a still significant 19 points. If there race were actually gender-specific, the margin of victory for either candidate would also be big: at least nine points. This is almost in line with the split during the Bush-Gore race of 2000, which at 20 points had the biggest gender gap on record since 1972 when exit polls were first conducted. Obama won the election in 2008 beating McCain by 13 points among female voters.