A poll shows that President Barack Obama's approval rating has finally hit the magical 50 percent mark just as the job market is on its way to recovery, reported the AFP. This puts the President at a double-digit point lead over Republican front runner Mitt Romney.
This 50-percent mark is particularly important for a president seeking another term, as studies show that approval ratings can serve as an election predictor. The New York Times reported that since World War II, every president with an approval rating of 50 percent or above has won re-election, those below the mark had lost.
Rising U.S. job figures contributed to the higher approval rating, as numbers released last week reveal that the unemployment rate has fallen to 8.3 percent. This is the fifth consecutive monthly decline in unemployment rates since August, when the number stood at 9.1 percent. The Huffington Post reported that payrolls grew by 243,000 jobs last month, up from 203,000 jobs in Dec.
The telephone poll, conducted by ABC News and The Washington Post between Feb. 1 and Feb. 4, found that more pollsters somewhat approved than somewhat disapproved of the way that Obama has been creating jobs , with the numbers at 24 to 13. The survey also showed that when it came to the President's State of the Union address, more viewers approved than disapproved of his speech.
However, when asked if the President deserves a second term, the results were close. Almost an exact tie: 50 percent voted 'yes' and 48 percent voted 'no.'
Although the figures showed that some voters approved of Romney's policies, 52 percent reported that the more they hear about Romney, the less they like him. For 24 percent, the more they hear about the Republican candidate, the more they liked him.
When asked who has the best chance to defeat Obama in the general election, 56 percent of those surveyed voted for Romney, with Newt Gingrich coming in second with 22 percent of voters. But when asked who has the best experience to be president, Gingrich came out on top with 43 percent of votes. With 26 percent of the votes, the former Republican Speaker of the House was also voted most likely to stand up for what he believes in. Romney came in as a close second with 24 percent of votes.
ABC News and the Washington Post polled 1,000 adults, 879 of which are registered voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.