New NBC/Wall St Journal poll shows improved ratings for Obama

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll offers positive news for President Obama’s re-election hopes, with voters showing more enthusiasm about him and the state of the economy.

Forty-eight percent of Americans approve of Obama’s job performance, while 46 percent disapprove, a small increase from December and the first time since June that Obama’s approval rating is ahead of his disapproval. The poll showed 45 percent of Americans approve of how the president is handling the economy, compared to 39 percent last month.

[MSNBCMSN video=”″ w=”592″ h=”346″ launch_id=”46155695″ id=”msnbc804ea4″]

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The numbers still of course show major dangerous signs for the president. Fifty percent of voters disapprove of Obama’s leadership on the economy, and 61 percent of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track.

The poll showed Obama ahead of all four remaining GOP candidates in head-to-head match-ups. He leads Newt Gingrich 55 to 37 percent, while a Mitt Romney-Obama race would be closer, as 49 percent of voters say they would support the president, 43 percent Romney.

Follow Perry Bacon Jr. on Twitter at @perrybaconjr