POLITICS -- March 14, 2012 at 10:01 AM ET
Pew Poll: Obama's Approval Rating Climbs, Has Lead Over GOP Candidates
President Barack Obama walks across the South Lawn of the White House last week. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
What a difference a day makes.
In Tuesday's Morning Line, we wrote about the New York Times/CBS News poll that showed President Obama's approval rating had dropped nine points in the past month to 41 percent, a record low for that survey.
On Wednesday, the numbers are a bit brighter for Mr. Obama, as a new survey by the Pew Research Center found that the president's approval rating stood at 50 percent, continuing an upward trajectory from 47 percent in February and 44 percent in January.
The Pew survey also showed the president with strong leads over the two leading contenders for the GOP nomination. He had a 12-point advantage over Mitt Romney among all voters, 54 percent to 42 percent. The president's margin over Rick Santorum was even larger -- 18 points -- 57 percent to 39 percent.
The president's numbers were bolstered by his substantial backing among women, who favored him by 20 points over Romney and by 26 points over Santorum.
While Mr. Obama's general election prospects appeared strong, there were still some warning signs for the president, with concerns over rising fuel costs at the top of the list.
Eighty-five percent of poll respondents said the news they are hearing about gas prices is mostly bad, up from 47 percent last November. That has been balanced, though, by the improving employment picture, with 38 percent now saying the news they are hearing about the jobs situation is most bad, down from 64 percent last November.