Obama zeroes in on female voters

President Obama zeroed in on undecided female voters during Tuesday's debate, keying off a question on workplace fairness to tout his passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Act, contraception coverage and Mitt Romney's plans to cut funding for Planned Parenthood.

The effort was notable given Obama's recent slip in the polls, something largely attributable to a drop in female support for the president. 

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At Tuesday's debate, it appeared Obama was determined to reverse that trajectory.

The president attacked Romney for his campaign initially having no position on the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which made it easier for women to sue if they'd faced workplace payment discrimination, and explained why his administration has required insurance companies to cover contraception.

"Women are increasingly the bread winners of the family," he said. "It's not just a women's issue, it's a family issue."

Obama also harped repeatedly on Romney's opposition to funding Planned Parenthood.

"When they said they're going to cut Planned Parenthood funding, he said 'me too,' " Obama later said as he attacked Romney for his primary stances.

Romney responded by talking about his effort to hire more women in his gubernatorial Cabinet in Massachusetts after an initial pool of applicants came up mostly male. 

"We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet," he said. "I went to a number of women's groups and said, 'can you help us find folks,' and they brought us whole binders full of women."

Romney also slammed Obama on females and the economy.

"There are 3.5 million more women living in poverty today than when the president took office," he said.

A recent Gallup swing-state poll conducted for USA Today showed Romney pulling even with Obama with female voters, a big swing from earlier polling showing Obama with a double-digit gap with women. 

Democrats have questioned Gallup's methodology and those numbers may be off since women tend to skew Democratic in elections and have in most polls. But other recent polls including a Pew Research Center poll showed a similar swing in the last two weeks.

This story was updated at 10:33 p.m.