When I hear the words “Obama” and “one-term president” in the same sentence I get a Chris Matthews-like leg thrill.

(ABC News) — A majority of Americans expect Barack Obama to be a one-term president, an assessment on which, in past elections, the public more often has been right than wrong.

Just 37 percent in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll say they expect Obama to win re-election in November 2012; 55 percent instead expect the eventual Republican nominee to win. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos is asking the president about that result in an interview today.

It’s a challenging finding for the president because expectations can fuel voter enthusiasm — precisely the ingredient that led the GOP to its broad success in the 2010 midterms, when charged-up conservatives turned out while dispirited Democrats stayed home.

Democrats do expect Obama to win, but they say so only by 58–33 percent — a comparatively tepid vote of confidence within his own party. Republicans, by contrast, smell victory by a vast 83–13 percent. And independents — the linchpin of national politics — by 54–36 percent expect the Republican candidate to beat Obama.