Some Dems keep distance as Obama popularity drops

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The drop in President Barack Obama's popularity threatens to hurt Democratic candidates in next year's elections. Some Democrats already are trying to distance themselves from him without looking like turncoats.

A popular president can help his party's candidates for Congress and governor in mid-term elections. But Democrats increasingly worry they could suffer losses like they did in 2010, Obama's first mid-term elections. Once again the main issue is health care.

Democratic senators seeking re-election in Louisiana, Arkansas and Alaska are trying to calibrate the proper independence from Obama. Obama lost all those states by large margins.

Republicans say it won't matter because these senators are inextricably tied to the health care law that is generally unpopular in those states.

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