MIAMI (CBSMiami) – President Barack Obama’s job approval rating has hit 50 percent for the first time in nearly eight months in a new Washington Post poll that could spell trouble for Republicans in the 2012 elections.

According to the poll, 50 percent of Americans now approve of the Obama’s job performance, compared to 46 percent who disapprove of President Obama’s performance.

Obama is splitting the public’s view on taxes, but gets negative numbers on the economy, creating jobs, and the federal budget deficit.

But perhaps more troubling for Republicans is Obama has increased his lead over both leading Republican presidential contenders.

According to the Post poll, Obama leads Mitt Romney, 52-43 percent and leads Newt Gingrich, 55-40 percent.

Based on his State of the Union speech, 57 percent said they approve of most of what Obama pitched in the speech.

When it comes to whether or not Obama deserves a second term, the public was evenly split at 50 percent for a second-term and 48 percent against another Obama term.

One of the issues that Obama is focusing on in his reelection, the disparity between the wealthy and the poor, polled well.

Nearly 70 percent said the U.S. tax system favors the wealthy, compared to just nine percent who said taxes favored the middle class.

And in a setback to Republicans, 72 percent of those surveyed said they support, with 59 percent strongly supporting, raising taxes on Americans with incomes over one million dollars a year.

Further, the poll found that 54 percent of those surveyed said they disapprove of what they’ve heard coming from the Republican candidates for President thus far.

When pollsters broke things down to individual issues, President Obama bested Romney in protecting the middle class, handling international affairs, handling taxes, and handling terrorism.

Romney received better marks for handling the budget deficit. The candidates split the vote on handling the economy and creating jobs.