"It's pretty basic stuff (Obama) talks about and I think as it turns out that's pretty much where the dream is right now," Ford said. "We can say the dream might have been lowered a little bit in terms of its aspiration but the aspiration is still there, and it's always there."
Some polling suggests that, despite voters' continued unhappiness with the economy and Obama's handling of it, the president may be convincing Americans he's on their side. A recent CBS/New York Times poll shows people view Obama as the candidate who best understands the needs and problems of "people like you," and see his policies as more apt than those of the GOP candidates to favor the middle class or the poor.
Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod said "the viability of the middle class is the central economic challenge of our time, so I think that this is very essential in terms of this election."
"He's been talking about this for years, that there are certain things that are pillars of a middle-class life, and he's been very focused on those things and addressing them as president," Axelrod said.
AP Deputy Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.
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