At first glance, the outcome of the 2008 presidential election would appear to be very difficult to predict. For the first time in over 50 years, there will be no incumbent president or vice president in the race. Instead, the Republican Party, which has seen its popularity and electoral fortunes plummet since 2004, is pinning its hopes of retaining control of the White House on Arizona Senator John McCain—an individual who has frequently clashed with his own party's leadership. And McCain's Democratic opponent will be Illinois Senator Barack Obama, the first African American ever to receive a major-party presidential nomination.
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