But five months from Election Day, several national polls show Obama and Romney locked in a tight race, as voters vent their frustrations over the nation's economic woes. May figures showed that employers created a meager 69,000 jobs and the jobless rate ticked up to 8.2 percent. And this week, the Federal Reserve released data showing that median family net worth shrank in 2010 to levels not seen since 1992 after adjusting for inflation.
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said the president's team "always anticipated this would be a close and competitive election."
But some strategists worry that time is running short. While many Democrats believe party loyalists will get more engaged as the election draws closer, other operatives say the terms of the election will be set over the next two months.
"This can't wait until September," said Steve Rosenthal, president of the Organizing Group, a Democratic-leaning consulting firm
Rosenthal issued his own warning on Obama's re-election prospects in an online column headlined "President Obama Can Lose: Now is the Time for Democratic Donors to Step Up in a Big Way."
In an interview Wednesday, Rosenthal said Obama's populist State of the Union address and Romney's initial troubles securing the Republican nomination created a false sense of euphoria among Democrats. But he said that sentiment ignored the fact that the country is still evenly divided, that the president does not hold a lead in all battleground states and that Obama this time does not have the 2-1 edge in money that he had over John McCain in 2008.
"They have such a huge financial advantage and with the economy teetering, it's frightening," Rosenthal said of Republicans. "I hate to say it comes down to money, but it does."
Don Peebles, a New York-based real estate developer and Obama fundraiser, said that while Democratic complacency has been hard to shake this cycle, he expects more urgency this summer.
"There's definitely a sense among the financial supporters of the president that we need to get more engaged and redouble our efforts to make sure that he has the resources he needs," Peebles said.
Associated Press writer Ken Thomas contributed to this report.
Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC and Jim Kuhnhenn at http://twitter.com/jkuhnhenn .
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.