Will Rank-and-File Democrats Vote for Obama?

Two women of my acquaintance who are staunch Democrats and big believers in the democratic process -- i.e., the civic responsibility to vote -- have told me that, come November, the idea of voting for Obama is not appealing. Friend number one told me in an email:

I agree about Obama. I am not at all a supporter of his and have serious concerns about the possibility of him becoming president... though I am not a big fan of McCain. If it comes down to him or Obama, I might go Republican for this election (as I have before). As you know, I am a registered Democrat with political leanings more in that party's direction, but give equal consideration to experience, competence, and strength of character as I do to general political ideology and party loyalty.

More recently, friend number two confided to me at a party at her home:

I don't trust Obama. I think he's hiding something. For the first time since I was old enough to vote, I am really conflicted. I'm thinking about staying home in November.

Friend number two also expressed her dismay over the news of John Edwards' marital infidelity. As she put it, "he broke my heart."

Now, of course, this is not a scientific poll, just comments from two people I know. Yet these are not party insiders -- they're just regular folks like you and me, and they are having serious doubts about voting Democrat in November if Obama is on the ticket.

Considering Obama's inability to get much more of a lead in the polls than the margin of error in a year which, based on historical precedent, the White House should go to the Democrats, perhaps my friends aren't the only party faithfuls with doubts about the presumptive nominee.

What could Obama, the politician who has promised to deliver "hope and change," possibly be hiding? What's not to like about his experience, competence, and strength of character?

  • His questionable relationships with the likes of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, Tony Rezko, and others?

  • Proof to the contrary of his self-proclaimed ability to bring bipartisanship and unity to Washington? According to David Brooks, DC Republicans say, "He [Obama] never worked with us. ... We've tried to have bipartisan backroom discussions where we just talk about things; he and his staff would never take part in those discussions."

  • His inability to properly vet important advisors on his campaign, including those with questionable ties to the Countrywide mortgage scandal and the Muslim Brotherhood? If this is how he picks advisors, how will he choose cabinet members?