New polls show Obama with slight lead over Romney as conventions near

Here and Now

Polls out Wednesday show President Barack Obama holds a slight lead in the race for the White House, despite the addition of Paul Ryan as vice presidential candidate on the GOP ticket.

But the polls also revealed something else interesting, just 11 weeks before Election Day — a lot of people who support Mitt Romney think Obama is going to win.

Not yet registering in the poll numbers, though, are Republican Rep. Todd Akin’s comment that in cases of “legitimate rape," the female body has ways to try "to shut that whole thing down,” to prevent pregnancy.

Akin, who is trying to get elected to the U.S. Senate from Missouri, has apologized, but Democrats are targeting congressional Republicans who joined Akin last year in supporting a resolution that would have redefined rape as “forcible rape” — including Paul Ryan.

Rick Klein, senior Washington editor for ABC World News, said if Akin is still on the ballot through the Republican Convention in Tampa next week, that will be the hottest topic of conversation — and that will complicate Romney's effort to get a needed boost in the polls.

"The problem for Republicans is this opens the door to a range of women's rights issues, and abortion issues, that they were trying to keep on the sidelines," Klein said. "To have the focus on this is just a distraction."

One of the polls out Wednesday, from NBC and the Wall Street Journal, found that Obama enjoys a 28-point lead when it comes to which candidate cares more about issues that matter to women, 52 percent to 24 percent.

Klein said in the past few elections, Republicans have had a major gap with Democrats when it comes to support among women voters.

If just men voted, he said, John McCain would have been elected.

Going into the convention, Klein said Romney will have to introduce himself to more voters.

"I think we're going to see the presence of Mormon faith leaders in addition to other faith leaders. You're going to hear a lot more about Mitt Romney's family — a lot of it is about biography — and about how that biography matches up with the message," he said. "All of them are going to be tied back to the direction that he'd want to take the country."

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