Obama has an opportunity to improve his standing among independent voters — many of whom deserted the Democrats in the 2010 midterm election — by working with Republicans toward bipartisan deficit-reduction measures.

Second, Obama has managed to move toward the center without losing significant support among core Democratic voters. The president’s job approval rating among Democrats, Plouffe said, is in the 80% to 90% range in many states. (Nationally, it’s about 77%, still respectable.)

Third, demographics help the Democrats. One of the keys to Obama’s victory in 2008, Plouffe noted, was high turnout among young, black and Latino voters, all groups that heavily supported the Democrat. Next year’s electorate should include even more minority voters than last time.

Fourth, Obama is a seasoned campaigner who ran a long, tough election campaign in 2008, and he still has the team that helped him to victory in place.

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