The race is on to tap one of the most vital sources of campaign cash — Wall Street — and the early results are not looking good for President Obama.

The president’s campaign struggled this week to sell out a fundraising dinner Friday at Manhattan’s gilded Four Seasonsrestaurant despite its being hosted by America’s No. 1 capitalist, Warren Buffett, according to people close to the campaign who were not authorized to speak publicly. The dinner for 100 was also a relative bargain at $10,000 a plate; recent fundraisers in Hollywood and New York have gone for $35,800 a pop.

The episode highlights a worrying trend for the Obama campaign. Wall Street, a key contributor to Obama in 2008, seems to be switching allegiances.

Wall Street appears to be lining up behind Republican Mitt Romney, who became Massachusetts governor after founding private-equity firm Bain Capital. He held a sold-out breakfast fundraiser at the exclusive Essex House hotel Tuesday. That was preceded by a breakfast with one of the biggest names on Wall Street, JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon.

Dimon, a Chicagoan who at one point was rumored to be in contention for Obama’s pick as Treasury secretary, has not made any donations this year. His private breakfast with Romney was viewed as a defection of sorts and a natural outgrowth of his recent criticism of the Obama administration’s push for regulation.

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