Ohio resident Bob Stewart says of President Bush: "He's been a world-class polarizer. I don't know if I can stomach four more years with him as president. He misled us into the war in Iraq and has mismanaged everything since."
A raging Democrat? No, Stewart is a Republican, one of an unknown number of such voters who plan to back John Kerry, out of despair over the war in Iraq and disappointment over budget deficits and social policies....
Stewart, 44, an insurance agent from Anderson Township near Cincinnati, voted for Bush in 2000 and is a registered Republican.
"I just have a gut feeling that Kerry can be trusted to make the right courageous decisions and will make a good president. He showed that with his heroism in Vietnam," he says.
Bush is "supposed to be a conservative and yet he's run up the biggest federal deficit in history. One thing that really turned me (away from Bush) as a lifelong Catholic ... was to see Bush go to the Vatican and try to get the pope to come down hard on Kerry for his stand on abortion. That is absolutely appalling."
In Michigan, Dan Martin has run for local office as a Republican. He says his biggest disappointment is that Bush's reputation as a "compassionate, conservative" governor of Texas hasn't proven true in the White House.
"The foreign policy is a mess. The offensive in Iraq is reckless and built on bad decision making. On the domestic front I understand that terrorism has struck and he's occupied but any real progress on a domestic agenda has ground to a halt," added Martin, 32, a customer service manager at a health maintenance organization who lives in Rochester Hills.
In Tennessee, Brian Boland, a young music company manager shopping at a market near Nashville, said: "I've always voted Republican and my folks will just kill me if they find out I'm switching to Kerry this year (should've gone anon. - ed.) ... but I am just frustrated with the way Bush has mishandled everything. All the untruths."
His wife said she too was switching. The Republicans carried Tennessee in 2000, even though it was the home state of Democratic nominee Al Gore.
At the same market Ron King, a black Vietnam Veteran, said: "I always voted Republican before but I'm against Bush ever since I found out that he doesn't love this country. His so-called military record is a sham. And the worst part is that he lies so much. He lied about weapons of mass destruction."
Lloyd Huff, 64, retired director of the Dayton Research Institute in Ohio, says he has "voted for a Republican in every presidential election I can remember" but it will be Kerry this time because "the Bush administration has been the most deceitful, duplicitous, secretive administration this country has ever had."
"Going to war in Iraq was a horrible, horrible mistake," he said. He accused Bush of "an arrogant, swaggering cowboy mentality ... he has done more than anyone to inflame the Muslim world by his words and actions."
I'm starting to feel vaguely hopeful.... Perhaps I won't have to decide whether to flee the country in November.