Despite the Fed's cautious guidance, a large number of Republican voters do think the economy is getting worse.

Dorrien, whose recent book "The Obama Question: A Progressive Perspective" offers a critique of the successes and failures of Obama's term as president, said he can sympathize with the chunk of Americans who can't find work, and he even contended that Obama likely wasn't ready for the economic collapse that's unfolded since his 2008 victory.

"Frankly, he wasn't ready. I mean he needed, even now, he thinks he needs Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner -- he took Geithner's wife for a walk a few months ago and said, 'Please, don't let him resign,'" Dorrien said in reference to a November 2011 New York Times report . "I think Obama has gotten clear about what didn't work for him in his first term, and he's gotten clear about what his presidency needs to be about."

If Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and the central bank decide to enact any monetary policy between now and the election, it would likely take a while for it to have an effect on real output, pricing and unemployment.

Though the Fed generally sees economic activity expanding, it has also said that downside risk remains, which is the guidance many Republican-base voters are criticizing.

The Fed has forecast continued moderate economic growth and gradual declines in unemployment. This would seem to bode well for Obama as voters might be more willing to offer him a second term with the prospects of a healing economy.

But a sudden disturbance could sway a majority of the American electorate to side with Republican pessimists.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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