Washington, Sept.15 : Barack Obama and his senior advisers are under fire for ignoring the advice of Democratic senators and governors on how to beat Republican rival John McCain.
Obama has never won an electoral contest against a strong Republican candidate and his slump in the polls has sparked pointed private criticism that he is squandering a once-in-a-generation chance to win back the White House.
Party elders also believe that the Obama camp is in denial about warnings from Democratic pollsters that his true standing is four to six points lower than that in published polls because of hidden racism from voters - something that would put him a long way behind McCain.
The Sunday Telegraph has learned that senators, governors and union leaders who have experience of winning hard-fought races in swing states have been bombarding Obama's campaign headquarters with telephone calls offering advice. But many of those calls have not been returned.
A senior Democratic strategist, who has played a prominent role in two presidential campaigns, told The Sunday Telegraph: "These guys are on the verge of blowing the greatest gimme in the history of American politics. They're the most arrogant bunch I've ever seen. They won't accept that they are losing and they won't listen."
After leading throughout the year, Obama now trails McCain by two to three points in national polls.
Party leaders and commentators say that the Democrat candidate spent too much of the summer enjoying his own popularity and not enough defining his positions on the economy. Others concede that his trip to Europe was a distraction that enhanced his celebrity status rather than his electability in the United States.
The Democratic strategist told The Sunday Telegraph: "They think they know best. They don't return calls. There are governors and senators calling them up with ideas. They don't get back to them. These are senior people from the border states and the South who know how to beat Republicans, and they're being ignored. They ignored everyone during the primaries and they came through it, so they think they can do the same again."