Washington (CNN) - A legislative win is a win - but not necessarily when it comes to swaying voters facing the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression.
High unemployment and fears over an ever-increasing federal debt are weighing heavily on Americans. That could drown out President Obama's meesage as he heads out on the campaign trail to tout Democrats' legislative wins: health care reform, financial regulatory reform and economic stimulus projects, among others.
"Right now he is facing an uphill battle," said Vanderbilt University political scientist John Geer. "I don't think there's much that can be done about that. He'll sharpen the message. But when economies are soft, incumbents have a tough time."
And members of Congress, bracing for a tough election, got a frank assessment Wednesday of where the economy is headed.