WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama's fortunes are improving slightly, although he would face a tough struggle for re-election next year if Mitt Romney were the Republican nominee, a Reuters/Ipsos poll said on Friday.
Forty-nine percent of Americans approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president, up from 47 percent in an October poll.
Obama's disapproval rating held steady at 50 percent.
While still low, the percentage of Americans who believe the country is headed in the right direction also increased, to 25 from 21 in the previous survey. The percentage who feel it is on the wrong track slipped to 70 from 74, the survey said.
The poll showed Obama would finish just behind Romney if the November 2012 presidential election were held today, with the former Massachusetts governor at 44 percent and Obama at 43 percent among registered voters.