Obama way ahead of Republicans for 2012 election (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has a wide lead over potential Republican rivals for the presidential election in 2012, but faces serious doubts about his handling of the U.S. economy, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found on Wednesday. The survey offered a boost for the president after the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Now, 45 percent of Americans believe he will win re-election, a 1O-point rise from a poll taken before November's congressional elections. The survey is an indication of how difficult it will be for Republicans to dislodge an incumbent president in the November 2012 election. Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said the Republican results are likely to improve as the field takes shape and Americans begin hearing more about Obama's challengers. "Most people don't know much about any of these people, and plus there is always an advantage for the incumbent," she said. The field of possible Republicans challengers to Obama has not generated much enthusiasm so far, with several waiting to announce their candidacy. Obama, who made history in 2008 by becoming the first African-American to be elected president, leads possible Republican candidates by double digits. He polls above 50 percent when compared to his closest rivals, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, according to the poll. Obama leads Huckabee by 51 percent to 39 percent, and Romney by 51 percent to 38 percent. The president's approval rating is at 49 percent, a 3-point increase over last month, amounting to only a modest bounce after the May 2 bin Laden operation. Other surveys have given him a slightly larger post-bin Laden boost.