Amid grim economic news, Democrats contemplating Barack Obama’s re-election bid find two reasons for hope. One is the multitude of weaknesses among the Republican presidential candidates. The other is that bad economic conditions need not be fatal—as demonstrated by Ronald Reagan, who presided over a serious recession in his first term only to win 49 out of 50 states in 1984. But as Steve Chapman points out, there are two major flaws in this logic. The first is that Obama's economy makes Reagan's look like the end of the rainbow. The second is that it shows no signs of getting appreciably better. Is it already too late for Obama to win a second term?
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