WASHINGTON - US 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 front-runner, 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.