In this final week before the mid-term elections, President Obama is both trying to help where he can, and staying out of sight where his campaigning would be a liability for the Democrats. As of mid-week, he’s off the trail, which says it all.

The winning strategy is reportedly ‘running away from Obama,’ which this AP article said more clearly before it was modified. But this is pretty clear:

Obama can “take his endorsement and really shove it,” declared Democrat Frank Caprio, battling Republican-turned-independent Lincoln Chafee in a Rhode Island gubernatorial race rated tight in the polls. Chafee endorsed Obama during the 2008 campaign for the White House.

As a payback, Obama is not endorsing the Democrat. Which suits Caprio just fine.

Such is the state of affairs in the runup to next week’s election.

Critical parts of the coalition that delivered President Obama to the White House in 2008 and gave Democrats control of Congress in 2006 are switching their allegiance to the Republicans in the final phase of the midterm Congressional elections, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

This is really remarkable.

Republicans have wiped out the advantage held by Democrats in recent election cycles among women, Roman Catholics, less affluent Americans and independents. All of those groups broke for Mr. Obama in 2008 and for Congressional Democrats when they grabbed both chambers from the Republicans four years ago, according to exit polls.

If women choose Republicans over Democrats in House races on Tuesday, it will be the first time they have done so since exit polls began tracking the breakdown in 1982.

The poll provides a pre-Election Day glimpse of a nation so politically disquieted and disappointed in its current trajectory that 57 percent of the registered voters surveyed said they were more willing to take a chance this year on a candidate with little previous political experience. More than a quarter of them said they were even willing to back a candidate who holds some views that “seem extreme.”

The approval rating for Congress came in lower than any time in the history of this poll. It’s bad news for the president and his party all-around.

In a follow-up interview, one poll respondent, Judy Berg, an independent from Morton Grove, Ill., said she voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 because she was “looking for a change,” adding, “the change that ensued was not the change I was looking for but something totally out of left field.”

This year, Ms. Berg, a registered nurse, expressed a preference for Republicans because “I’m pro-life and I’m also looking at the immigration issues and the tax issues.” She added, “I like the Republican agenda on these issues better than the Democratic agenda.”

That the Times would choose this example seems to me a sign that they either respect or fear the potent and growing sentiment of people who not only vote, but still pay any attention to publications losing the public trust at the same pace as establishment politicians.

How the times are changing.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....