A pair of new polls show President Obama’s standing on the rise with battleground state voters even as his signature health care overhaul appears increasingly unpopular.
Obama’s approval rating in 12 key general election states stands at 53 percent in a George Washington University/Politico poll conducted Feb. 19-22. Forty-five percent disapprove of the president.
Obama also holds double-digit leads over his two most likely Republican challengers, edging Mitt Romney 53 to 43 percent and Rick Santorum 53 to 42 percent.
The poll, which covers Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 points.
The findings reflect a significant turnaround for Obama, who received a 44 percent approval rating from voters in the same survey four months ago and has been neck and neck with his GOP rivals in general election matchups.
Analysts cite a recent string of positive economic indicators and an increasingly bruising GOP primary that has forced the candidates further to the right with helping to boost Obama’s favorability.
Meanwhile, however, majorities of voters in the same states say Obama’s health care overhaul is a “bad thing” and, if a Republican wins the White House, would favor the law’s repeal. The dynamic presents a potential challenge for wooing critical independents.
Seventy-two percent of swing-state voters in a USA Today/Gallup poll said early provisions of the law have had no effect on their health care situation, while 42 percent said full implementation after 2014 would likely make their situation worse.
Three in four also believe the individual health insurance mandate is unconstitutional.
The USA Today/Gallup poll, conducted Feb. 14-21, has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.