Washington: Boosted by rising US jobs figures,
President Barack Obama`s approval rating has hit the magical
50-per cent mark and he has opened up a double-digit lead over
his likely Republican opponent in November, a poll showed
The poll by the Washington Post and ABC television found
Obama reaching the 50 percent barrier, seen as a critical
threshold for an incumbent seeking reelection, for the first
time since Osama bin Laden was killed last May.
Pollsters said Obama`s ascent comes as the US economic
recovery appears to be finally taking hold, with voters
appearing more confident and comfortable with his policies.
The latest US figures released last week found that the
unemployment rate has fallen to 8.3 per cent, the fifth
straight monthly decline since August, when it was 9.1 per
The US president now holds a solid 11 percentage point
lead over the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, Mitt
Romney, in a hypothetical general election match-up, according
to the survey.
Obama leads Romney 52 to 43 per cent among all Americans,
and a narrower 51 to 45 per cent among registered voters, his
first time topping 50 per cent in a head-to-head match-up with
Romney since July, the pollsters said.
But the president still has substantial work to do: Among
the all-important independent voters likely to determine the
outcome of the election, 47 per cent approve and 50 per cent
disapprove of the way he is handling his job.
His approval numbers are much better than they had been a
few months ago however, they had been as low as 34 per cent
among swing voters.
As the Republican nomination battle grows more bitter and
divisive, the public`s view of Romney, seen as the clear
frontrunner after back-to-back wins in Florida and Nevada, has
soured, the poll found.
Fifty-five per cent of those who are closely following the
campaign said they disapprove of what the Republican
candidates have been saying.