Poll: Many Obama 2008 supporters defecting to Reps

Obama is taking his popular wife with him to three campaign stops in the pivotal swing state of Ohio today.

Last Updated: Oct 17, 2010, 22:52 PM IST

Washington: President Barack Obama is taking his popular wife with him to three campaign stops in the pivotal swing state of Ohio today, but a new Associated
Press Poll shows that may be too little, too late with just over two weeks remaining before critical congressional elections.

The survey found that the coalition of voters that swept Obama into the White House just two years ago aching for change after the eight-year presidency of Republican George W
Bush has crumbled.

With Obama not on the ballot again until 2012, dispirited supporters are unlikely to hold back a growing Republican and conservative tea party tide. Blamed for the still struggling economy and near 10 per cent unemployment, Obama`s Democrats have a scant chance
of keeping their majority hold on the House of Representatives, where all 435 seats are on the ballot.

Republicans also are expected to make significant gains against the Democrat majority in the Senate, where 37 of 100 seats are up for grabs. The Associated Press-Knowledge Networks survey found that one-fourth of those who voted for Obama two years ago are
defecting to the Republicans or considering voting against the party in power in the November 2 election.

Many in that number say their switch is more a symbol of anger at the Democrat than a vote in support of the Republicans. Significantly and in a sign of fundamental voter
dissatisfaction with both parties, just as many people who backed Republican presidential nominee John McCain are either supporting Democrats now or still considering how to vote.

The problem for Democrats is that just half of Obama`s supporters in the 2008 race say they definitely will show up to vote on November 2, according to the poll. At the same time, the poll found that two-thirds of McCain supporters say they are certain to vote.
It`s a wide enthusiasm gap that`s buoying Republicans, who are poised for big electoral gains, and worrying Democrats, who are seeking to hang onto majorities in Congress
as well among governors.

Obama`s party hopes its superior get-out-the-vote operation, updated from his groundbreaking campaign, can overcome Republicans` energised supporters to mitigate
expected losses across the board.

Bureau Report