"The only thing on Obama's side right now is time"

“I’m a Democrat but there is no sugar-coating it, things aren’t good,” said Democratic consultant Dane Strother. “The only thing on Obama’s side right now is time. A week is an eternity in politics and we have 15 months.”

Polls show Obama remains personally popular, and Democrats find hope in 2004. That year many voters unhappy with President George W. Bush’s performance were reluctant to oust him amid the Iraq war and economic challenges.

“When people are frightened, they are more likely to stick with the guy they know than take a chance on the guy they don’t know,” Democratic strategist Karen Finney said.

“They still like Obama. As long as people feel like he’s trying and he’s making some progress, that matters,” she said.