Redskins Lose: Another Election Indicator

by Neil Minkoff


I spent Sunday being thankful that my beloved Patriots had their bye week. I would not have been able to follow the game. The fate of the Union was at stake, to be decided as it is every four years, by the Washington Redskins.

Despite being a 3.5-point favorite at home, the Redskins were soundly defeated by the Carolina Panthers. Last year’s athletic rookie quarterback sensation, Cam Newton, outdueled this year’s athletic rookie sensation, Robert Griffin III.

The Redskin Rule, now in effect in favor of challenger Mitt Romney, is one of the most accurate predictors of election outcomes. It has accurately predicted 17 of the last 18 elections, failing only in the Bush–Kerry contest of 2004.

Simply put, if the Redskins win their last home game before a presidential election, the incumbent, or the nominee of the incumbent’s party, will prevail on Election Day. If the visiting team wins, so will the challenger to the president or the president’s party.

Am I foolish to believe in the Rule? Well, being raised in New England taught me that curses can affect baseball teams. And my grandmother used to show me how to use Yiddish phrases and scraps of red thread to avoid the evil eye.

Besides, what else do I have? A series of confusing tied polls and voter-projection graphs.

Tomorrow’s question for pundits everywhere: How will this latest indicator affect Nate Silver’s prognostication?

Right Field

Brief chronicles of our sporting times.