MIAMI (CBSMiami) – President Barack Obama’s approval ratings have hit 50 percent for the first time since the death of Osama bin Laden in a new NBC News/WSJ poll that also showed some potentially bad news for the lingering GOP nomination fight.

According to the poll, President Obama now has a 50 percent approval rating compared to a 45 percent disapproval rating overall, with 5 percent not sure. Additionally, 49 percent of voters have at least a somewhat positive view of Obama compared to just 37 percent who have at least a somewhat negative view.

Further, the poll found 38 percent view the Democratic Party as somewhat positive compared to 36 percent who view the Democrats at least somewhat negatively. Roughly 24 percent of voters were neutral when asked their feelings about the Democratic Party.

That compared to 32 percent of the respondents who held a somewhat positive view of the Republican Party and 41 percent who have at least a somewhat negative view of the Republicans.

Possibly even more damaging for Republicans, was that 46 percent of voters wanted a Congress controlled by Democrats rather than Republicans.

When it comes to a direct race between a potential Mitt Romney campaign against President Obama; the president would beat Romney by a 50-44 percent margin. If Newt Gingrich were the Republican candidate, Obama would beat him by a 54-37 percent margin; and if Rick Santorum was the candidate, Obama would beat him 53-39 percent.

Looking at other issues, a majority 53 percent said the federal government should require employers to offer free birth control coverage as part of their health insurance benefit plans.

Finally, 52 percent of those surveyed said the United States should initiate military action in order to destroy Iran’s ability to make a nuclear weapon if the country is close to producing a nuke.


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