David Leonhardt writes: "If history is a reliable guide, the recession of 2008 is now unavoidable."

If that's right and we do see a recession this year, would there be any historical precedent for the Republicans maintaining control of the White House? I know a couple of examples of incumbent parties losing despite a strong economy (1968, 2000) when special circumstances (Vietnam, Nader/Florida/electoral college) intervene, but has an incumbent party ever rode a recession to victory?

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