While I was at Kiwanis last Tuesday – Election Day – I was listening to Dave Piper talk about the Washington Redskins and their election predictions record. The Redskins had correctly predicted all but one Presidential election since 1940, and they lost that one on a technicality. When the Redskins win their last home game before the election, the incumbent President or party retains power. When they lose, the challenger wins the office. The only time they were wrong was in 2004. They lost to the Packers. Challenge John Kerry actually won the popular vote, but lost to incumbent George W. Bush in the number of electoral college votes. The Redskins lost last Sunday, and I jokingly asked Dave if he thought they had thrown the game just so Romney could win. But apparently losing the game didn’t help, because Obama won in both popular and electoral college votes.
It is interesting to see all the different prognostications that surround Presidential elections. I did an online search for presidential predictions. Here’s some of what I found:
Coffee cups: Did which cup you drank 7-Eleven coffee out of matter in the Presidential Election? It may have. Since the convenience store chain started selling its red and blue 7-Election coffee cups 16 years ago, the promotion has correctly called the winner of each of the last four Presidential elections.
Expiration dates: According to National Journal writer Jonathan Rauch, Presidential candidates have an expiration date. No president elected since Teddy Roosevelt has ever taken more than 14 years to go from his first major office to the Presidency. It took Barack Obama 11 years from the time he was elected to the Illinois State Senate to be elected President in 2008. Mitt Romney was fresh enough this year, since it was only nine years since he was elected Governor of Massachusetts, but freshness alone is obviously not a guarantee of a win.
Halloween masks: The sale of Presidential Halloween masks with the likenesses of the candidates on them have correctly corresponded to the election outcomes since 1980, when Ronald Reagan’s likeness outsold Jimmy Carter’s.
Summer Olympics: The Summer Olympics have correctly predicted the outcome of 12 of the 13 past elections. If a country that has previously hosted the games, or won the right to do so, hosts the Summer Olympics that year, the incumbent defends his seat in the White House. The only time that didn’t happen was in 1980, when Reagan beat Carter. London hosted the Summer Olympics in 1906, and hosted them again this year.
Upson-Lee High School: This year in their mock election, the students correctly predicted every race as it was in Upson County and Georgia. Mitt Romney won at Upson-Lee High School, in Upson County, and in Georgia. They predicted with their votes that Rusty Blackston would win the Commission Chair, Dan Kilgore would win the Sheriff’s race, Teresa Harper would win the Clerk of Court race, and that the Charter School Amendment – Amendment 1 – would be approved.
I think I’d rather trust my vote to our kids than to a coffee cup, length of time in office, Halloween mask, Olympics, or a professional football team. What do you think?