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The Economy: Good News for Dems, Right?

Economic woes usually favor the challenging party in a Presidential election. But this may be one more pattern the 2008 campaign upends
From left: Senator Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Senator Hillary Clinton, and Senator John McCain.
From left: Senator Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Senator Hillary Clinton, and Senator John McCain.

With fears of recession on the rise and voters in state after state now citing the economy as the most important issue in the election, it's hardly an auspicious time to strike out as the Republican Party's new Presidential nominee.

That's because elections that take place when the economy has turned sour historically have not gone well for the candidate representing the incumbent party. Think of Ronald Reagan's crushing victory over Jimmy Carter in 1980 or Bill Clinton's ouster of George H.W. Bush following the early 1990s recession.