President Barack Obama has extended his lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney to seven percentage points, a new poll conducted by Ipsos reveals.
The poll, which was published on Tuesday, found that Obama’s new lead is due to increased support from independent voters and some optimism over the economy.
Obama was backed by 49 percent of registered voters, compared to 42 percent who supported Romney. In April, the poll showed Obama leading over Romney 47 percent to 43 percent.
Ipsos said that the numbers suggest Romney's general election campaign has not yet taken off, although he has effectively clinched the Republican nomination in recent weeks, when both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich dropped out of the race.
On Tuesday Romney won the presidential primaries in Indiana, North Carolina and West Virginia. His only rival is Texas congressman Ron Paul, who was behind the other candidates in many states during the primary season and has no chance of beating Romney.
The Ipsos poll found that Obama's overall approval rating among the 1,131 adults surveyed was 50 percent, up one point from last month. 47 percent of people in the poll disapproved of how Obama handles his presidency.
Independents swung behind Obama, the poll found. 48 percent approved and 40 percent disapproved of his performance in May compared to 37 percent who approved and 57 percent who disapproved in April.
A POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll taken two days ago found a dead heat in the presidential race. In that poll, Romney edged out Obama 48 percent to 47 percent among likely voters.
That number, according to POLITICO, is well within the margin of error, as Republicans rapidly consolidate behind the likely GOP nominee.
As for the Jewish vote, a recently released American Jewish Committee poll found that a majority of Jews, especially secular Jews, will vote for Obama, but his backing is weaker than in 2008.
Only 52 percent of Jews who attend religious services at least once a week plan to vote for President Obama, compared with 67 percent support for the president among those who do not appear at synagogues or temples. Mitt Romney would receive 34 percent of the vote of Jews attending religious services regularly, leaving a gap of 14 percent of those who did not register a preference.
Jews who do not arrive for prayer services on a regular basis backed Obama by 31 percent, compared with 21 percent for Romney.