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And the White House has had to field questions about whether Mr. Obama’s visits are helping.

Press secretary Robert Gibbs said the economy fell far more than most analysts predicted in late 2008 and early 2009, but he said Mr. Obama’s policies have helped. He said the visits to tout stimulus projects are a way to underscore that.

“The president believes it’s important to have a regular conversation with the American people about what we’re doing on the economy and the types of things that he’s seeing,” Mr. Gibbs said.

But the GOP says the pitch is falling short.

“The Obama administration is trying to show pockets of improvement, but across the board Americans aren’t feeling it,” Republican strategist Ron Bonjean said. “So for President Obama to be out there in swing states and districts promoting this actually will hurt them in November.”

Mr. Bonjean said Americans want jobs but are so sour on additional spending that Mr. Obama would be better off promoting plans to reduce the deficit and debt.

Indeed, most polls show voters are increasingly skeptical of the skyrocketing federal deficit, making it all the more difficult for Mr. Obama and his allies on Capitol Hill to finagle extra spending through Congress. While the House has approved an extension of unemployment benefits, the effort has stalled in the upper chamber where conservative Democrats join Republicans in their uneasiness to add to the federal tab.