That’s especially important in Midwest states, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, which contain large numbers of swing-voting Catholics.
Obama’s February regulations require government officials to decide whether churches’ activities are religious enough to merit exemption from a federal mandate that clashes with some churches’ core message. The mandate requires religious institutions to cover contraceptives in insurance policies for employees who work in church-run schools, charities and hospitals.
The regulation is strongly opposed by the Catholic Church — which operates many schools, charities and hospitals — but also by Baptist, Evangelical and Jewish religious groups. They fear it could be used by progressives to impose further disabling regulations on religious observance and on churches.
The Huffington Post’s poll compilations show Romney closing the gap in several Midwest states. In February, he was 10 points behind in Michigan, but he’s cut the gap to 2.3 percentage points. In Wisconsin, a nine-point gap in February has been reduced to 2.3 points.
However, the compilations show Obama comfortably ahead in Pennsylvania, 47.3 percent to 39.1 percent. He’s expanded his advantage in Colorado to 4.5 points, while he remains narrowly ahead in Iowa, Virginia and Florida, according to the compilations.