Poll finds Obama opening up 7-point lead nationally over Romney

President Obama leads Mitt Romney by 7 percent in the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.

Obama leads Romney 49 percent to 42, up from a 4 percent lead in April, but down from an 11-point edge in March, according to the same poll.

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The poll could be an outlier; most national polls show the candidates within the margins of error of one another, with Obama leading, according to the Real Clear Politics (RCP) average of polls, by only 1.2 percent.

The RCP average includes the Reuters/Ipsos 7-point Obama lead, as well as a poll from conservative-leaning Rasmussen released earlier on Tuesday that showed Romney with a 5-point lead over Obama.

A USA Today/Gallup poll released on Monday showed the two candidates locked in a statistical tie in the 12 battleground states that will play a critical role in determining the outcome of the 2012 election.

However, two surveys from left-leaning Public Policy Polling released on Tuesday showed Obama with healthy leads in the battleground states of Ohio and Iowa, where he has 7- and 10-point advantages, respectively.

The president’s job-approval rating is in positive territory for the third straight month, according to Reuters/Ipsos, with 50 percent saying they approve, versus 47 percent who say they disapprove, of Obama's performance.

While most polling suggests that voters view Romney as better equipped to handle the economy, which figures to be the most important issue in the 2012 election, the Reuters/Ipsos survey shows Obama with a slight 45 to 43 advantage in that category.

In fact, Obama is seen as stronger on every issue against Romney except for immigration, according to the poll. Obama has his biggest leads over Romney on healthcare, the war on terror and Afghanistan, Reuters/Ipsos found.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll of 1,131 registered voters was conducted from May 3 to May 7 and has a 3 percent margin of error.