President Obama saw his popularity increase in the latest Quinnipiac University national poll released Tuesday. He saw his approval rating go from 41 percent to 47 percent while his disapproval rating went from 44 to 49.

Potentially more important to the President and his team, though, is the fact that the Obama has a five to 16 percentage point lead overall of his potential Republican challengers.

President Barack Obama seems to be improving in voters' eyes almost across the board, said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a statement. He scores big gains among the groups with whom he has had the most problems--whites and men. Women also shift from a five-point negative to a four-point positive.

Brown said he wasn't sure if these numbers would continue to trend in the President's favor as next year's election approaches.

Whether this is a blip, perhaps because of the death of Moammar Gadhafi and the slight improvement in some of the economic numbers, or the beginning of a sustained upward move in his popularity isn't clear and won't be for some time. Nevertheless, the movement allows the White House a sigh of relief, for the President's approval had been stuck in the low 40s for some time and even a temporary upward move is good news for the folks at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, he said.

The Republican candidate who comes closest to the President is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Obama leads Romney 47-42 in the latest poll.