The other problem for the Democrats this year is an internal battle. Liberals in the party say the president and mainstream congressional democrats have abandoned their promises, especially on health care reform, by ditching the so-called public insurance option.
Justin Rubin is the executive director of MoveOn.org, the progressive grass-roots organization credited for helping sweep Barack Obama into office in 2008. He says his members feel betrayed.
"It looks more like business as usual in Washington, and I think it's really disappointing to lots of folks who came out in November and voted for change," Rubin says.
And it's not that these voters would mark their ballots for Republicans in this year's midterm elections. But if they're not inspired and mobilized like they were in 2008 -- like the conservative tea party movement is now -- the fear is that these voters won't show up at the polls, and they definitely won't sign up to be Democratic foot soldiers.
"If Democrats are out the fighting every day for working folks and taking on the special interests I think MoveOn members and millions of other folks who came out in 2008 will be back out in 2010. It's really up to what Democrats do over the next few months."