Obama approval slides on economic woes; still bests GOP hopefuls

President Obama's approval rating has slid in recent months, but he maintains an advantage over the Republicans vying for his job, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

Forty-seven percent of those surveyed approve of the way Obama is handling his job, down seven points since January, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll.

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Fifty percent of U.S. adults said they disapprove of the president's job performance, meaning Obama's approval rating is upside-down for the first time in months in the ABC/WaPo survey.

The tumble appears to be driven in part by dissatisfaction with the economy, especially as gas prices continue to climb, even before the summer driving season. Fifty-seven percent of respondents disapproved of the way Obama has handled the economy, while 42 percent approve.

That number could be especially concerning to Obama, who acknowledges that the state of the economy, and the pace of the recovery from the recession, are the biggest hurdles to his reelection.

"I think that my biggest concern, when it comes to reelection, is my biggest concern as president of the United States, which is our economy moving fast enough to give people the kind of relief that they need," Obama said last week in an interview with The Associated Press.

Obama does appear to face a notable amount of voter frustration; 45 percent of adults said they definitely will not vote for him in 2012, compared to 28 percent who said they definitely will. Another 25 percent said they would consider supporting Obama's reelection effort.

But when it comes to the Republican alternatives to Obama, the president maintains an advantage.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) fares best against Obama at this point. In that match-up, Obama enjoys a 49-45 percent advantage, his slimmest lead over any Republican in the ABC/WaPo poll.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) keeps it similarly close. In a hypothetical match-up, 50 percent of voters would elect Obama, while Huckabee would win 44 percent.

The president enjoys a larger lead over other Republicans rounding out the field. Obama would best real estate mogul Donald Trump 52-40 percent; beat Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) 51-39 percent; win over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) 54-39 percent; beat former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin 55-38 percent; and top former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty 53-38 percent.

The poll, conducted April 14-17, has a 3.5 percent margin of error.