Republicans always do worse among women than among men, and it’s not because of abortion or because women think Republicans don’t respect them. It’s because women tend to be more liberal on foreign policy and the welfare state. Romney has spent much too much time trying to make a gendered appeal to women.
He needs to gain ground among men and women alike. He needs, that is, to worry about his absolute levels of support and not about the size of the gap. A middle-class message should help him among voters of both sexes.
One of the biggest and most fiercely-held myths among the chattering class is that Romney suffers from an unusually large gender gap and that it's because of abortion or contraception.
No, it's exactly as Ponnuru says -- for decades and decades, women have leaned Democratic because they are more Democratic, and it doesn't come down to one issue, but instead it's a mindset that's more communal oriented and friendly to bigger safety nets than men prefer.
The gender gap isn't about Romney; it's about the (R) next to Romney. Very often, the media turns women into issue voters that are only moved by Lilly Ledbetter and Norma McCover (aka "Jane Roe"), but that's probably more about personal, political projection than empirics.