Democrats encouraged about Obama in 2012

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.