An interesting bit from Democratic political consultant Mark Mellman (via The Hill) that plays into my thesis that the economic slowdown—even if the economy reaccelerates after a quarter or two—is mega-bad news for Republicans next year:
The latest Gallup poll reports 64 percent of Americans harbor a negative economic outlook, the highest number since September 1992, when, just before George Bush's father was defeated in his bid for re-election, 66 percent offered negative evaluations of the economy. Negative assessments today are 21 points higher than they were when the present Bush was re-elected in 2004. In addition, 43 percent then saw the economy moving in the wrong direction—today that number has ballooned to 71 percent.... Only one piece of economic data could bring the slightest smile to GOP faces—2008 is expected to be better than 2007. Will voters reward Republicans for the "better times" during the election year? Not likely, but I guess it takes some ray of hope for 10 Republican presidential candidates to get out of bed each morning and take to the hustings.
(This is part of an ongoing look at how the economy will affect the 2008 presidential race.)