For most voters, the political arguments, campaign tactics and reports from the Federal Reserve will be largely irrelevant on Election Day. What matters most is the reality they experience on a daily basis. That brings us back to the question Ronald Reagan made famous three decades ago: "Are you better off today than you were four years ago?"
That's the kind of hope and change Americans were looking for when they elected Obama. At the moment, they don't think the president has delivered. Consumers rate their personal finances the same as they did on the day he was inaugurated. If that doesn't improve by November, there's likely to be a new president in January.