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

Posted at 7:44 AM, Nov 05, 2012

By Dan Merica

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.

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.

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?

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