Washington Redskins lose, San Francisco Giants win, election results still unclear
November 4th, 2012
07:21 PM ET
10 years ago

Washington Redskins lose, San Francisco Giants win, election results still unclear

Washington (CNN) - Just two days before Election Day, four major sports superstitions for presidential election outcomes yield little clarity to who will in on Tuesday.

For years, election watchers have been looking for correlations between sports and the presidency, and expectedly a few have been found.

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The most well known sports related presidential predictor is the Redskins Rule. The rule is simple: if the Redskins lose, the challenger wins; if the Redskins win, the incumbent wins. Since 1940 (the 'skins moved to Washington in 1937), the outcome of the Redskins last home game before the election has correctly predicted the outcome of the presidential election 17 out of 18 times.

The Redskins lost 21-13 to the Carolina Panthers (the Panthers second win of the nine week old season) on Sunday. The outcome bodes well for the Romney campaign and is considered an upset – the Redskins were favored coming into the game.

The outcome did not go unnoticed by political reporters – "why even hold the election," some sarcastically tweeted.

Not to be left out, Major League Baseball also has their own election rule. In a press release before the World Series last month, the league noted that about three-fifths (59%) of the time the American League team won the World Series, the Republican candidate won the White House. Likewise, 67% of the time the National League won the World Series, the Democratic ticket won the White House.

In late October, the National League's San Francisco Giants won four straight World Series games against the American Leagues Detroit Tigers – a dominating performance that favors the Obama campaign.

Though the rule is not totally accurate, this theory has correctly predicted the last three elections.

READ MORE: By the numbers: Presidential predictions

But that is not all – the United States is more sports and politics obsessed than just two superstitions.

Eight of the last nine times that the Los Angeles Lakers have made the NBA Championship game, Republicans have won the White House. Sen. John McCain's loss in 2008, a year that saw the Lakers face the Boston Celtics in the championship game, is the only time since 1952 that the correlation was proven wrong. McCain lost and so did the Lakers.

This year, because the NBA championship was between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder, this predictor is not in play.

Don't leave out college football, though. They, too, have their own superstition.

Since 1984, the winner of the Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU Tiger football game has correctly predicted the winner of the presidential election. If LSU wins, the Republican wins the White House. And if Alabama wins, the Democrat wins.

The Saturday before the election, top-ranked Alabama pulled out a 21-17 victory over rival LSU, a win that bodes well for President Obama's re-election.

Four rules, three different results. What's a superstitious presidential election watcher to do?

Filed under: 2012
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. SafeJourndy

    Thats just plain silly

    November 4, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  2. CBP

    It really does not matter which team wins. These men earn more in two hours than most people earn all year. In fact these men earn more than the President of the United States. They earn more than our best teachers. In fact, many people cannot even afford to attend a professional game of any sport. Add in the record salaries for music stars, media people, Hollywood and television stars and we can see why our kids do not know why we expect them to study and stay in school.

    November 4, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  3. Valentina

    Obama is toast! Romney will win on Tuesday.

    November 4, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  4. Worm Turns Around

    BO will have a possibility to do a big whoop since one of the factors are vulnerable.

    November 4, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Why is this important when the votes matter?

    November 4, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  6. Brad

    The NBA Championship game?? Seriously??

    November 5, 2012 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  7. J.V.Hodgson

    Ignore this crass stupidity and go vote!

    November 5, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  8. Facts don't Lie

    and South Carolina always picks the GOP nominee too, right? If all these things are true then Newt Gingrinch would be the one running instead of Mitt Romney. Just saying.......

    November 5, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  9. RJB

    What? No NHL predictor? Obviously there are serious flaws in the reporting. That said, predicting 17 out of the last 18 elections is a pretty strong track record. BO, don't let the door hit Michelle's big ol' booty on the way out!!!!

    November 5, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. Canopy

    The NFL just stated the Panthers should not have had one of their touchdowns counted because of an errant whistle.

    November 6, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |