By Ryan Devine
Widener University American Government Student
A fundamental principle in American culture has always been our ability and responsibility to vote in elections, especially the Presidential election. For just as long, “experts” have attempted to predict the winner’s ahead of time through mock polls, demographic studies, political trends and other methods of taking the pulse of the nation. However, it appears that all of the professional polling companies might need to look elsewhere. There have been a few surprising elements that have an uncanny ability to predict the outcome of elections.
The first indicator that should be looked at is the sale of presidential 7-11 cups. Since 2000, the candidate whose cup created a higher profit for the convenience chain has also gone on to occupy the White House. While admittedly a short sample, going 3 for 3 in all of the elections the gimmick has been around is still impressive.
For a trend with a little bigger sample size, we can look at the most iconic team in sports today, the New York Yankees. Of the last 15 elections, the Bronx Bombers have made the playoffs 9 times. With the exception of 1996, every year that the Yankees have won the World Series, the Republican candidate has won the election and every time the Yankees make the playoffs but loose, the Democrats have won.
While the Yankees have one incorrect year over the 9 elections that their trend has been eligible, Halloween masks have an uncanny ability to be right. Since 1980 the candidate who has had the most replicas of his face sold as a costume for Halloween has won every election (which means Obama can stop working now and take a few days off according to several reports.)
The most popular and accurate best indicator is none other than the District of Columbia’s own Washington Redskins. The franchise that has had exactly two winning years in the last 12 years, and on pace for another regardless of RGIII’s heroics, is still the best in the world at predicting elections. Since 1937 there have been 18 elections. Anytime the Redskins win their last home game before the election, the incumbent has won the election 17 times. The lone exception was the 2004 election when the Redskins lost but President Bush retained the office. While some argue that since Bush didn’t win the popular vote in 2000 the rule could be tweaked so that the party that previously won the popular vote and not the Electoral College was the one actually being predicted by the Redskins which would make them a perfect 18 for 18 it is kind of irrelevant since 17 for 18 is still a 94 percent accuracy rate.
With President Obama selling more masks and the Yankees bowing out to the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS, it appears Mitt Romney and his fellow Republicans will all be sporting brand new Cam Newton jerseys come Sunday when the Redskins host the Carolina Panthers in a game that Vegas currently has the Redskins as a 3 and a half point favorite.
Postscript: The Redskins lost their final home game before the election to the Panthers yesterday.