President Obama’s uphill battle to re-election is getting steeper.

A report released Wednesday by the centrist think-tank Third Way shows that more than 825,000 voters in eight key battleground states have left the Democratic Party since Obama won election in 2008.

That's nearly a million former Democrats who're not likely to vote for Obama again next  year.  The GOP is also losing voters, but not as many as the Democratic Party.

Amid frustrating partisan gridlock and unprecedented low party-approval ratings, the number of voters registering under a major party is falling fast, but it is also falling disproportionately.

In eight states that will be must-wins in 2012 -- Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina and Pennsylvania -- Democrats lost 5.4 percent of their registered voters, while Republicans lost 3.1 percent.

Some have switched parties, but others have sworn off both parties. The number of independent voters in those states jumped 3.4 percent.

The report says this means there will probably be more independent voters in the upcoming election than there has been in nearly 50 years.  But Democratic party strategizers say that could actually help Obama, if he plays his cards right and tailors his message to them.

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It's worth remembering that "independents" and "undecideds: are the people all the Presidential candidates focus on in their campaigns. Registered Democrats and registered Republicans can be expected to vote their party, but "independents" and "undecideds" can vote either way.

If enough of them vote for one candidate over the other, they can decide the outcome.