[...] the governing party is in trouble because of adverse short-term forces (such as bad economic times), and, in the extreme, the governing party is torn asunder with internal factionalism or, worse yet, a third-party challenge. [...] the opposition party mounts an "indirect" campaign that does not focus on the "core" policy issues that divide the two major parties (as the opposition party would be greatly disadvantaged in this kind of policy debate), but rather on "peripheral" issues such as a scandal or foreign policy crisis.
Running Against the Grain: How Opposition Presidents Win the White House Raymond Tatalovich Presidential Studies Quarterly; Mar 2010; 40, 1; Docstoc pg. 198
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