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Wednesday, November 05, 2008
The political predictors of sports

I was thinking this morning about writing something on the boon Barack Obama's victory would be to Oregon State recruiting, but Mike beat me to it. So let me mention some fun links between sports and this election.

1) The election to which this one is most-often compared (in terms of potentially marking an ideological and generational sea change behind an eloquent leader) is Ronald Reagan's win in 1980. The last time the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series? 1980.

2) Prior to this year, in 16 of the 17 presidential elections since the Redskins moved to Washington in 1937, the outcome of the team's final home game before the election has matched the electoral result: A 'Skins win and the incumbent party retains the White House, a 'Skins loss and the incumbent party loses the White House. Make it 17 out of 18: The Redskins were pounded by the Steelers at home on Monday and the non-incumbent party won the White House on Tuesday.

3) When I took Intro to American Politics as a college freshman in 1986, I learned that one of the predictors of the presidential election was the World Series winner: American League team meant a Republican President, National League team meant a Democratic President. From 1952 until 1976, it worked every year (you can look it up). Then from 1980 until 2000, it worked only once--the Detroit Tigers and Ronald Reagan in 1984.

But we now are 3-for-3 in the new Millenium--Bush/Yankees in 2000, Bush/Red Sox in 2004, and now, Obama/Phillies.


The bad news appears to be that the NYYankees win most of their WSes under a Democratic president.

The past eight years have been good for something.

Blogger Ken Houghton -- 11/05/2008 9:45 PM  

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