President Obama holds a double-digit lead nationally over the two GOP presidential front-runners, according to a CNN/ORC poll released on Wednesday.

Obama leads Mitt Romney 54 percent to 43 percent, and leads Rick Santorum 56 percent to 40 percent.


That’s Obama’s widest lead to date in the CNN-ORC poll, which is the second poll this week to show the president pulling away from his potential Republican rivals nationally. A Suffolk University poll released earlier this week showed Obama leading Romney by 10 percent, and holding a 12 percent lead over Santorum.

In addition, a Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday showed Obama pulling away from the GOP field in three swing states, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, that will be critical in determining the outcome of the 2012 election.

Obama’s favorability rating is far better than that of either Romney or Santorum, with 56 percent of those surveyed saying they have a favorable view of the president compared to 42 percent unfavorable.

Romney and Santorum are both deep underwater with their favorability ratings, which is perhaps a result of the elongated and increasingly contentious primary season. Only 37 percent have reported a favorable view of Romney, compared to 49 percent unfavorable, while 35 percent have a favorable view of Santorum, versus 42 percent unfavorable.

Obama has also seen his job-approval rating rise as the economy has slowly improved. Fifty-one percent said they approve of the job the president is doing, compared to 45 percent who disapprove.

It’s the first time the president has crossed the 50 percent mark since last May, when his approval rating still benefited from a bump that followed the assassination of Osama bin Laden.

The CNN-ORC poll was conducted from March 24 – 25 and has a 3 percent margin of error.