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The coalition that catapulted Barack Obama into office in 2008 is gone, fed up with broken promises and unfulfilled dreams. Voters now appear willing to give Republicans another try along with tea party newcomers.
A new Associated Press-Knowledge networks poll shows at least 25 percent of those who voted for Obama have defected to the GOP and will vote against Democrats in November.
Half or more of these disaffected voters say they will definitely vote on Nov. 2 and the candidate they vote for will be anyone but a Democrat.
But while Republicans stand to benefit from those abandoning the Democratic party, those who voted for John McCain in 2008 say they are considering casting their ballots for Democrats and two-thirds of them say they will vote.
Not all those votes, however, will go to Democrats. Many will go to independents and tea party candidates who are out of the political mainstream.
Writes Liz Sidoti of The Associated Press:
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’ energized supporters to mitigate expected losses across the board.
While no president can be expected to fully rally his supporters when he’s not on the ballot, the survey illustrates the wide scope of Obama voters’ disappointment with the president and his policies almost halfway through his first term — and two years before he’s likely to seek their backing again.
To find out how the electorate’s political views have changed since the 2008 election, the AP and Knowledge Networks re-interviewed the same 1,254 people who were part of a random sample of Americans surveyed up to 11 times throughout the 2008 campaign by the two organizations and Yahoo News. The recent interviews occurred Sept. 17 to Oct. 7. The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
Bottom line: Voters are pissed as hell.