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Archive for February 6th, 2012

WASHINGTON | Mon Feb 6, 2012 2:32pm EST

(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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Think Progress- By Ben Armbruster  on Feb 6, 2012 at 10:15 am

Out on the campaign trail and in debates, Mitt Romney has tried to paint President Obama as a ineffective commander-in-chief. The former Massachusetts governor regularly says things like the President is “weak” or that he “went around the world and apologized for America” — an assertion the Washington Post said was “based on distortions.”

But it appears that Romney’s baseless attacks on Obama’s foreign policy aren’t sticking. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll out today found that “Obama has big leads [over Romney], including on the question of who would better protect the middle class, handle foreign policy and fight terrorism.” Fifty-five percent trust Obama over Romney (38 percent) to handle international affairs and 54 percent said Obama is more able to deal with the terrorism theat than Romney (38 percent). See the Post’s chart:

Perhaps Romney knows he doesn’t have much on the president’s foreign policy, which might explain why he regularly lobs false and misleading charges at Obama, on issues ranging from Iran, Israel, the war in Afghanistan and the military. Regarding Romney’s charges that Obama is “weakening” the U.S. military, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, himself a Republican, called that line of attack “ridiculous.”

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