It's eerie how like 2004 this election is.
You have a President who is profoundly unpopular among a large segment of the population--one for bankrupting the country with his war mongering, one for being black (not that I have an opinion!)
The economic and political climate is absolutely ideal for a change, but the opposition party only manages to nominate the least offensive, most "electable" candidate--John Kerry in 2004, Romney now. In both cases, they are entirely absent of any appeal of their own, except that they aren't the other guy.
Both of them made the argument essentially that, "hey, I can do it better", without offering any specifics.
And they both will lose because they don't really have anything new or attractive offer.
It's a little inspiring to me that, ultimately, positivity generally prevails over negativity, if only just.