If the campaign rhetoric that has dominated the Republican primaries is any indication, Americans can expect the fall presidential campaign to focus on the economic condition of the country. If you believe recovery from the recession is real, you might be more inclined to favor the incumbent. If not, you may vote for change.
That's a good debate to have, but it's a difficult one because most people will want to use their personal brush to paint the nation's picture, even though their own circumstances may not be generally applicable. Someone who has been unable to find a job for months won't think there has been much of a recovery.