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Obama cracks 50%, GOP field remains tied, according to WaPo/ABC poll

President Obama has a 54 percent approval rating, according to a Washington Post/ABC poll. Gallup and CNN polls also show him with a 53 percent approval rating, exhibiting something of a trend in recent weeks.

However, in the Post/ABC poll, 51 percent disapprove of his handling of the economy, and 60 percent think the country is on the ‘wrong track.’ The increase could be for a few reasons — his handling of the shootings in Tucson, the end of the midterm elections wherein Republicans bashed his policies or having a Republican House to deflect some of the attention.

The Republican field remains very unformed about a year out of the Iowa Caucuses — former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has 21 percent of poll respondents’ support, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has 19 percent and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has 17 percent. In short, there is no frontrunner. In addition, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has 9 percent and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has eight percent. Several other mentioned candidates — Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Sen. John Thune (S.D.), Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour — have less than three percent. No one — except for longshot candidate and businessman Herman Cain — has announced anything yet, and others, namely Chris Christie, have denied interest in running.

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