With economy improving, Obama would beat Romney: poll

WASHINGTON Mon Feb 6, 2012 5:30pm EST

President Obama talks about the economy at Fire Station Number Five in Arlington, Virginia February 3, 2012.     REUTERS/Larry Downing

President Obama talks about the economy at Fire Station Number Five in Arlington, Virginia February 3, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama - bolstered by a stronger economic outlook and recent job growth - would win in a match-up against the two leading Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, a poll on Monday showed.

A Washington Post-ABC News survey of 1,000 adults found that, for the first time, Obama's prospects have brightened against his potential rivals as his overall job approval rating climbed on his handling of the slowly recovering economy.

If the election were held now, Obama would win 51 percent of the vote compared to 45 percent for Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and current Republican frontrunner, according to the poll. He would win with 54 percent compared to 43 percent for Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives who has vowed to continuing seeking his party's nomination.

The poll, conducted by telephone from February 1 through February 4, showed Obama won higher marks than Romney when it comes to protecting the middle class and taxes. Those polled also said they trusted Obama more to handle international affairs and terrorism.

But Obama and Romney tied when it came to creating jobs and more of those surveyed said they trusted Romney to handle the economy and the federal budget deficit.

In a statement, the Romney campaign's polling strategist, Neil Newhouse, said the survey was flawed and "introduced specific negative information about Governor Romney immediately prior to asking the ballot match-up against President Obama."

The president's job approval rating rose to 50 percent, according to the survey, which has a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

When asked if Obama deserved a second term as president, 49 percent said yes and 49 percent said no.

In an NBC interview Sunday, Obama said he deserved another term when Americans vote in November. A jobs report on Friday showed the U.S. economy created jobs at the fastest pace in nine months in January. The unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 8.3 percent, its lowest level in three years.

(Reporting By Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott)

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Comments (99)
philnk wrote:
Looks like each party should do like Dancing with the Stars, hold primaries to narrow the field to 3 top voting candidates. Then use pol results to pick the final nominee.

Feb 06, 2012 10:02am EST  --  Report as abuse
anlyztht wrote:
Would I vote again for the man who rescued American from a massive Republican depression, brought health care to millions of Americans,kept America safe from terrorist attacks, ended the war in Iraq, lowered taxes, and killed Bin Laden.
Absolutely!

Feb 06, 2012 10:23am EST  --  Report as abuse
SanPa wrote:
Polls rise and fall with the tide. Spkr. Boehner and Fingers McConnell are already hatching out their next crisis.

As for the leading GOP candidate, Gov. “Cayman Caiman” Romney has promised that all boats will rise on his tide … assuming, your boat is a yacht. Petzel life rings and mustard will be doled out for all others.

Feb 06, 2012 10:32am EST  --  Report as abuse
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