The Washington Times - May 11, 2012, 10:37AM

In one of the first surveys since President Obama came out in favor of gay marriage, Republican Mitt Romney holds a seven-point lead over the president in Friday’s Rasmussen daily tracking poll — his largest lead in any survey so far.

Mr. Romney reached 50 percent for the first time in the poll, compared with 43 percent for Mr. Obama.

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The poll didn’t delve into gay marriage; Rasmussen noted that the results came a week after a disappointing jobs report that “raised new questions about the state of the economy.” The number of people who fear their personal finances are getting worse increased to 47 percent, up from 43 percent last week.

Thirty-seven percent of those polled gave the president good or excellent marks for his handling of the economy.

Gallup’s presidential tracking poll for the period from May 3 to May 9 gives Mr. Romney a four-point advantage, 47 to 43 percent. Voters gave the presumptive Republican nominee better marks for how he would handle the economy over the next four years.

An Associated Press-Gfk poll released Wednesday, but taken before the gay-marriage announcement, showed Mr. Obama with an eight-point lead over Mr. Romney, 50 percent to 42 percent. That survey also showed growing pessimism about the economy. Just 22 percent of Americans said that the economy has improved in the past month, down from the 28 percent who said so in February.

And 35 percent predict that the unemployment rate, which has been slowly dropping to 8.1 percent last month, will start rising again. In the same poll in February, only 30 percent believed that.