Poll: Obama Hits 50% Approval, Leads All GOP Rivals, For Now

The new CBS News/NY Times poll definitely contains the kind of information that could put a little spring in any president's step.

The poll, released Tuesday, found President Obama's approval rating had bounced back up to 50 percent from 47 percent in January. Not a huge improvement but in presidential politics, getting to at least 50 percent approval is seen as key for an incumbent hoping to win re-election. The recovering economy gets much of the credit for his rising approval rates.

The same survey showed Obama leading all the Republican presidential candidates in hea-to-head matchups, with Mitt Romney trailing him by six percentage points, Rick Santorum by eight points, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas by 11 points and Newt Gingrich by 18 points.

The analyses by Times and CBS News staffers rightly point out that there's still plenty of time before Election Day for the world to come unhinged (think the Eurozone and Iran) and Obama's ratings to nosedive again. But the current trend is definitely in Obama's favor.

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