Two years after arriving in Washington on a message of hope and change, Democratic candidates are not extolling their party’s accomplishments, but rather distancing themselves from their party’s agenda.

The midterm elections may revolve around a series of big issues, particularly with control of Congress at stake. But a look at the advertising themes and images being employed by Democrats shows all the ways they are trying to personalize their contests and avoid being defined as ideological partners of President Obama’s or as part of the Washington establishment…

The images of Mr. Obama and Ms. Pelosi appear with more frequency than those of any other political figures — but nearly always in Republican advertisements. They have been mentioned so many times that in their advertising some Democrats have started calling out their Republican rivals, including Representative Roy Blunt of Missouri, who is running for the Senate.

“Congressman Roy Blunt seems to think he’s running for the Senate against Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi,” says Robin Carnahan, the Democratic candidate, standing in the middle of a cow lot on her farm. “Hey Roy, you’re running against me!”