Democrats are entering the fall sprint to the midterm elections lacking a unifying message to address the lackluster economy, scrambling to come up with further job-creating remedies and out of time to show substantial results before voters go to the polls…

Representative Tom Perriello, an underdog for re-election in Virginia, campaigned this week in a county where he pointed to new water lines and broadband service as the benefits of the stimulus, which helped attract Microsoft to invest in the tobacco region. But he also has called for Mr. Obama’s Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, to go.

“If it’s Perriello versus Hurt, I’ll win,” Mr. Perriello said, referring to his Republican challenger, State Senator Robert Hurt.
“If it’s a referendum on the president, it’s a tougher race.”

Mr. Perriello could not immediately answer when asked what the national Democratic message is. “I suppose the pause there may be telling,” he said.