(Reuters) - President Barack Obama bucked decades-old electoral trends to win the White House in 2008, taking nine states that had supported Republican George W. Bush four years earlier.
With Americans deeply worried about the economy, even some Democratic activists have scant expectations that he can carry all the nine states in next year's presidential election.
Party campaigners and pollsters say the chances now look slim for a second consecutive triumph in states like Indiana and North Carolina, where no Democratic presidential candidate had won since 1964 until Obama took them in 2008.
"No one is counting on Indiana," one Democratic activist said.
Without a strong economic upturn, Obama is also likely to face tough fights in other close-run states that have been hit hard by the downturn.
A leading Democratic activist said that, while there will be a lot of campaigning in Ohio, he could also envision a scenario in which the party wrote the state off early in order to focus elsewhere.
A Quinnipiac University poll in May put Obama in a virtual tie -- at 41-39 percent -- in Ohio with an unnamed Republican opponent. Obama's numbers could drop in the state once a Republican rival emerges and communicates to voters. (Continues here)