President Barack Obama enters the home stretch of his re-election campaign amid a still-struggling economy, with national polls showing him virtually tied with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
But Mr Obama has one big thing going for him: voters seem very much to like him personally, and many remain loyal to him even as they give him low marks for his handling of the economy.
If his campaign team can convince his 2008 supporters to flood back to the polls this November, while also persuading undecided voters that Mr Romney does not have their interests at heart, he will win a second term.
Mr Obama, America’s first black president, had a turbulent first term in office.
He and his fellow Democrats scored several historic achievements. But the US economy has struggled mightily since Mr Obama took office amid one of the worst economic recessions in decades: job growth has been anaemic and the US unemployment rate has remained over 8%.
Add to that, the Democratic Party suffered historic losses in the mid-term polls in November 2010, with the Republicans emerging energised and more determined than ever to promote their conservative agenda and stymie the president’s plans
Mitt Romney and the Republicans are now betting that Mr Obama will be unable to inspire the same enthusiasm that carried him to the White House and that independent voters will turn away from his policies amid a still-lagging econom
Oratory, charm, background
Barack Hussein Obama made history on 4 November 2008, when he easily defeated Republican rival John McCain to become the first black president of the United States.
Aged 47 when he was inaugurated, Mr Obama was also the first urban president since Harry Truman and the first president born in Hawaii.