Huffpost Politics

Obama Gains Over Potential GOP Rivals In Latest Poll

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 - U.S. 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 numbers climbed on his handling of the slowly recovering economy.

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

The poll, conducted by telephone from Feb. 1 through Feb. 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.

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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  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results
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