Politics and Public Opinion, Elections

On sports, superstition, and politics



Where there are too many statistics and people with too much time on their hands, superstition seems to flourish. Sports fans are notorious – playoff beards, rally caps, and a host of bizarre rituals intended to give the chosen team the upper edge. Politicos are just as crazed, scouring spreadsheets for statistical correlations, coming up with anything from Bordeaux wine futures (a good year for Bordeaux is a good year for Democratic presidential candidates) to hemline lengths (longer hemlines seems to be a good sign for Republicans). But combine sports statistics with political fortune telling, and you get a whole new level of superstition.

In baseball, the San Francisco Giants, the National League team, beat the Detroit Tigers, the American League team, in this year’s World Series. When the National League team wins the World Series, the Democratic presidential candidate tends to win. Since 1948, that correlation has proven true 11 out of 16 times.

Football also seems to have a magical connection to the presidential race. When the Washington Redskins win their home game closest to the election, the incumbent party generally retains the White House. This correlation has been proven true 15 out the last 16 elections since 1948. Despite being favored to win, the Redskins lost to the Carolina Panthers last Sunday, 21 to 13. This would seem to indicate Obama’s in trouble.

The fates seem to be misaligned. Baseball fortunes say Obama should win, the football fates have cast in for Romney. With national polls extremely close, there seems little else to do than hurry up and wait for the results. How boring.

For a list of election indicators, see the latest edition of AEI’s Political Report.

One thought on “On sports, superstition, and politics

  1. would you take a moment to read this please?

    ****This is addressed to OBAMA and ROMNEY supporters****

    Over the past 24 to 48 hours there has been in increase in violent language and threats from the right and the left toward supporters of either side in this election. We need to counsel and pray for civility, calm and restraint so that this does not turn violent after the election – regardless of the outcome. Democracy works! The Constitution of our great country is sound and secure.

    We firmly believe in the process of the election and that no matter who wins, the system works. But some on both sides are promoting violence. The trash talking from both sides adds fuel to a fire we may not be able to stop if allowed to continue. Freedom of speech is one thing all of us value, but to incite violence is wrong on moral and legal grounds.

    Would you be willing to join with us in issuing a statement of calm and peace and restraint regardless of the outcome? Will you stand for and pray for calm and peace and civility? Will you too promote restraint and reason?

    We do not hate either candidate. We do not want nor encourage violence. We just differ in our political views. We believe in America. We believe in the people and the communities of this country, from sea to sea and from north to south. We are a great and indomitable people of all races, national origins, beliefs and creeds.

    America is a great nation, and will continue to be great after the election.

    We are not a lawless nation. We are a people of strong emotions, but reason and the rule of law and the processes established by our constitution are also important to us. If Romney wins, then the process works as defined. If Obama wins, the process works as defined.

    Know this…If Gov. Romney is elected President, then he should get the respect and recognition as such from the left. If Pres. Obama is re-elected, then we should expect the same from the right. This is America, not some third world country. We may not like the politics of the particular candidate, but, he will have been duly elected according to the constitution.

    Join with us in telling all our friends and family members and other associates to calm down, and be proud to be an American.

    Join us in praying for calm, peace, civility, restraint.

    Join us in praying for our next president – regardless of who wins after the election.

    Join us in praying for the prosperity and success of these United States of America.


    Add your name to our list today.

    Tim Williamson, Obama Supporter, Alabama
    Tom Woodard, Romney Supporter, Alabama & Tennessee
    Hernandez Stroud, Obama supporter
    Curtis Rider, Obama supporter
    James Bromley, Romney supporter

    Would you add your name to this list too?

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