President Obama's job-creation bill has been a turning point, Democratic strategists say. They argue that the measure draws a sharp contrast to GOP proposals to pull back from federal activism in strengthening the economy, and it has energized the Democratic party and the president himself.
In addition, GOP efforts to block the jobs bill show "craven partisanship" and an intransigence that repels many voters, especially independents, says a senior Democratic strategist. "From the perspective of charging up the troops, people have really rallied around the plan," the strategist says.
Democratic insiders also have been buoyed by recent focus groups conducted for the party that show Obama's 2008 supporters who have doubts about him becoming more supportive because of the jobs measure. "It could be a game changer," says another senior Democrat.