President Barack Obama has lost millions of dollars in support from former donors in Democratic strongholds and in districts that he won narrowly four years ago, according to an Associated Press analysis of the most recent federal campaign finance data.
Tens of thousands of supporters who gave him hundreds of dollars or more in the early stages of the 2008 campaign haven't offered him similar amounts of cash so far in this campaign. And in some cases, former Obama contributors gave to GOP candidates, such as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
"Spending levels and tax policy are probably the most important issues for me at the federal level and things have not gone in the direction that I would favor in those departments," ex-Massachusetts Governor William Weld told Reuters. "Governor Romney has a picture perfect textbook on those issues."
Weld, who backed Obama against Senator John McCain in 2008, said he would choose not just Romney over Obama in 2012 but some of the other Republican contenders as well if they won their party's nomination.
Support from influential moderate conservatives helped Obama win about 54 percent of the independent vote in 2008, according to exit polls, and he will need a strong showing among independents again next year to be re-elected. He was supported by 9 percent of Republicans in 2008.
"I am a Republican and only voted for one Democrat in my entire life, and that was very much an anti-McCain vote. I thought Obama was going to be better than he turned out to be," said Kenneth Adelman, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and adviser to a number of Republican presidents, including George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon.
Adelman is also backing Romney.