"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.
Economic discontent remains the biggest threat to the Democrats' political prospects this fall. The issue has become more acute with growing fears that the economy has lost steam in recent weeks. Friday's unemployment report will provide more evidence.
"I think that as long as the economy is struggling, the economy is going to be a decisive issue," White House senior adviser David Axelrod said. "The question is whether people believe at the end of the day [that] turning backward to the policies that got us into the disaster is really the answer. That's a debate we're going to have."
I don't agree that the fear of Republicans taking control will motivate the Democratic base to create victories, it may motivate the base. It will rely more on the quality and skill of the candidates because it will most likely be the voter who is not affiliated closely with either party that is the deciding factor in many of these elections.