WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's lead over Republican rival Mitt Romney has grown to 7 percentage points due to increased support from independent voters and more optimism about the U.S. economy, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.
Obama was backed by 49 percent of registered voters in a telephone poll conducted from May 3-7, compared to 42 percent who supported his likely rival in November's presidential election. In April, the poll showed Obama leading Romney 47 percent to 43 percent.
The poll showed a jump in the number of independent voters who approved of the way Obama is doing his job. Forty-eight percent approved and 40 percent disapproved in May compared to 37 percent who approved and 57 percent who disapproved in April.
Obama's overall approval rating among the 1,131 adults surveyed was 50 percent, up one point from last month, while 47 percent said they disapproved of how he handles his presidency.
(Reporting by Deborah Charles; Editing by Sandra Maler)