In 2008, Barack Obama was carried to overwhelming victory in both the Iowa Caucuses and the general election in the state with the support of many independents and Republicans. Those backers though don’t seem to be behind him this year. In a big front page story today, the Des Moines Register went back and tracked down 23 independents and Republicans who were for Obama in 2008. It found that 18 of them were definitely not voting for Obama in November.

Needless to say, this is an unscientific sampling but it does clearly indicate the political toll the President has endured over the past four years. As one former Obama supporter (who now backs Ron Paul) told the Register: “Obama did the typical political thing — he said a bunch of things before he got elected, but he hasn’t come through with it.”

In 2008, Obama won Iowa by almost 10 points. In contrast, in 2004, George W. Bush only eked out a victory by about 10,000 votes in the swing state. Although the Register’s story may be only anecdotal, it’s a clear indication that 2008 may have been an aberration and things are going to be close again in the Hawkeye State this year.

Ben Jacobs

Follow Ben on Twitter @bencjacobs. Ben Jacobs is a journalist based in Washington, D.C. His work has been published in New York, The Atlantic, The Guardian, and numerous other publications.