Poll: 44% Say They're Worse Off Today

Chris Matthews asks his panel how the president will campaign if Americans continue to believe they're worse off since he took office. The answer - he'll go on the attack, trying to demonize the GOP candidate and make voters think they're worse off with change, no matter how bad things are.

Remember Reagan asking in 1980 if people were better off under Jimmy Carter? That's what the Republican nominee will be asking about the Obama years.

That's the simplicity of a referendum election, for the challenger, when times are bad. Which is why, despite the pain of the bad economy, some people are hoping it lasts just long enough.