Democrats encouraged about Obama in 2012

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WASHINGTON (AP) — After last summer’s fight over government borrowing, many rank-and-file Democrats say they are growing more optimistic about President Barack Obama’s prospects in 2012.

They cite encouraging signs from Obama’s more populist tone and what they view as a messy GOP primary fight.

Many Democrats acknowledge that high unemployment and economic uncertainty are major obstacles for Obama. But interviews with more than a dozen Democratic activists across the nation show support for the president’s more forceful message against Republicans in Congress.