"I think the prospect of a Republican takeover -- while not likely, but plausible -- will be very much part of the dynamic in October, and I think that will help us with turnout and some of this enthusiasm gap," said David Plouffe, who was Obama's campaign manager two years ago and is helping to oversee Democratic efforts this fall. Still, he put all Democrats on notice, saying: "We'd better act as a party as if the House and the Senate and every major governor's race is at stake and in danger, because they could be."
Plouffe and other Democratic strategists say Obama will play an important role in making the case that the Republican Party is one of obstruction and indifference. But they think the outcome in November will depend as much on the skill of candidates in mobilizing potential supporters who are now disinclined to vote.
The US economy lost 125,000 jobs in June, more than economists had forecast, as thousands of temporary census jobs ended and private hiring grew less than expected.
And though the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 9.5% from 9.7%, the lowest in a year, it was largely due to more people dropping out of the labor force.
The report was the latest sign that the economic recovery may be faltering.
Private hiring rose 83,000 after increasing only 33,000 the prior month, the Labor Department said. But nonfarm payrolls, dropped 125,000—the largest decline since October—as census jobs fell 225,000.
"Overall what this does is it reinforces the market's view that the U.S. recovery is losing steam,'' said Greg Salvaggio, vice president of trading at Tempus Consulting in Washington.