Now that Mitt Romney has all but secured the GOP nomination, focus turns to the general election where currently Romney has some serious problems. Over the past six months independents living in swing states have turned sharply away from Romney and toward President Obama, according to Gallup.

Trend: Presidential Vote Preferences of Independents in Swing States, Based on Registered Voters

Looking at the internals, the biggest swing from Romney to Obama comes from women. Since October there has been a 12 point swing to Obama among independent men but a 19 point swing among independent women. Democrats really pushing the narrative that the GOP is waging a “war on women” seems to be working.

I think there are two main factors at play here and they are both bad news for Romney. The first is that the more people have gotten to know Romney, thanks to the Republican primary, they more they dislike him as an individual. His favorability rating has been eroding for months and is currently terrible. Most polls show a majority or at least a significant plurality hold an unfavorable view of Romney.

The other important factor is the modestly improving economy which tends to make people view the incumbent more favorably. The official unemployment rate, while still very high, is down noticeably since October and economic confidence has increased significantly.

In the past few months Obama has become a stronger candidate and Romney has gotten weaker. The net effect is bad news for the Republican Party, but of course it is still early.