Eighty-six percent of voters who say they voted for Barack Obama in 2008 are backing Obama again this year, a smaller proportion than the 92% of 2008 John McCain voters who are supporting 2012 Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Nine percent of 2008 Obama voters have switched to supporting Romney this year, while 5% of McCain voters have switched to Obama…

Nonwhites other than blacks, a group composed largely of Hispanics and Asians, are among the subgroups of 2008 Obama or McCain voters most likely to switch presidential preferences or be undecided this year. Twenty-one percent of this group of voters have a different preference now than in 2008, about double the national average of 11%.

Other groups showing an above-average shift in vote choice between 2008 and 2012 are political independents (18%), political moderates (16%), Eastern residents (15%), those with a high school education or less (15%), and unmarried men (15%).

Obama’s approval rating is below 50 percent in 37 states, ranging from a 26 percent rating in Utah to a 49 percent rating in Michigan. Obama is at 50 percent or higher in just 13 states, from a 50 percent rating in Minnesota to a 63 percent rating in Hawaii. The president is most popular in Washington DC, where his job approval rating is an astonishing 83 percent…

The District of Columbia and the states in which Obama is at 50 percent or above have a combined 188 electoral votes — a solid beginning toward the 270 he needs for re-election. But a number of the states Obama will need to win — Ohio, at 44 percent, and Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, all at 46 percent — are in the iffy mid-40s range.

Romney is currently leading in every state McCain carried plus: Indiana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Nevada, North Carolina, and Colorado. If he carries these states, he’ll have 228 electoral votes of the 270 he needs to win.

To win the election, Romney would then have to carry Florida where he trails by two points, and either Virginia (behind by two) or Ohio where he’s down by only one.

If he carries all three of these states and also wins all the others where Obama is now at 50% or less – Iowa, New Mexico, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey — he will get 351 electoral votes, a landslide about equal to Obama’s 363 vote tally in 2008.

The strong probability is that Romney does, in fact, carry Florida, Ohio, and Virginia and a share of the other states where Obama is below 50% of the vote.

Most disquieting, even to some of Obama’s 2008 supporters, has been just how ordinary a politician he’s become. Far from the passionate, lofty rhetoric and mesmerizing oratory of four years ago, his words have become thoroughly two-dimensional.

The things he says on a daily basis could come from anyone running for office in the United States today. Obama for America surely set up countless focus groups and spent millions on polling and, rather than using what they learned to create a compelling narrative, produced a product akin to Wonder Bread. It tastes good but has little nutritional value.

Americans don’t need more pabulum. They need leadership and vision. That the president is perfectly willing to dumb down his re-election campaign erodes the brand he built during his first White House run.

Top aides on President Obama’s re-election team are terrified that there will be scores of empty seats when he makes his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, party insiders said.

Obama, once the biggest draw in politics, won’t likely attract crowds as large as those at the 2008 convention because voters have gone sour on the poor economy, insiders said.

“It’s always a concern about making sure there aren’t empty seats, but this is different,” said one Democratic official familiar with the convention plans.

Via the Corner.