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What Does the Redskins Rule Predict for 2012 Presidential Election?

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 04:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins warms up before a game against the Carolina Panthers at FedExField on November 4, 2012 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2012

The Washington Redskins have been correctly predicting the outcome of the United States presidential election since 1940. 

In a nutshell, the "Redskins Rule" states that if Washington wins the week before the election, the incumbent party wins as well. If the Redskins lose, the non-incumbent wins the election and takes over office. 

After months on a campaign trail and millions upon millions of dollars spent on advertisements, it's hard to believe a football Sunday can predict the outcome of the presidential election—but the evidence is overwhelming. 

The Washington Post has compiled a list of the rule dating as far back as 1940:

  • 1940 – Redskins 37, Steelers 10 – Roosevelt (D) defeats Willkie.
  • 1944 – Redskins 14, Rams 10 – Roosevelt defeats Dewey.
  • 1948 – Redskins 59, Boston Yanks 21 – Truman (D) defeats Dewey.
  • 1952 – Steelers 24, Redskins 23 – Eisenhower (R) defeats Stevenson.
  • 1956 – Redskins 20, Browns 9 – Eisenhower defeats Stevenson.
  • 1960 – Browns 31, Redskins 10 – Kennedy (D) defeats Nixon.
  • 1964 – Redskins 27, Bears 20 – Johnson (D) defeats Goldwater.
  • 1968 – Giants 13, Redskins 10 – Nixon (R) defeats Humphrey.
  • 1972 – Redskins 24, Cowboys 20 – Nixon defeats McGovern.
  • 1976 – Cowboys 20, Redskins 7 – Carter (D) defeats Ford.
  • 1980 – Vikings 39, Redskins 14 – Reagan (R) defeats Carter.
  • 1984 – Redskins 27, Falcons 14 – Reagan defeats Mondale.
  • 1988 – Redskins 27, Saints 24 – Bush defeats Dukakis.
  • 1992 – Giants 24, Redskins 7 – Clinton (D) defeats Bush.
  • 1996 – Redskins 31, Colts 16 – Clinton defeats Dole.
  • 2000 – Titans 27, Redskins 21 – Bush (R) defeats Gore.
  • 2004 – Packers 28, Redskins 13 – Bush defeats Kerry, ending the streak.
  • 2008 – Steelers 23, Redskins 6 – Obama (D) defeats McCain, restoring the Redskins Rule.
  • 2012 – Redskins vs. Panthers – Obama vs. Romney – TBD

The only exception to this rule was in 2004 when the Redskins were defeated by the Green Bay Packers, but George W. Bush still managed to win the election. 

On Sunday the Redskins took on the Carolina Panthers in Washington in a game that many thought would decide the 2012 presidential election. 

Washington would fall short against the Panthers, as Carolina quarterback Cam Newton threw for 201 yards and a touchdown, running his quarterback rating to a pristine 100.1. He also added a rushing touchdown in the winning effort. 

Thing weren't so pretty for Washington, as rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III threw for only 215 yards and was sacked four times by an aggressive Panthers defensive front. 

In what ended up being a defensive battle, the real star of the game was Carolina rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly, who, combined with Cam Newton, may have decided the 2012 election. Kuechly, the No. 9 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, notched 15 total tackles and was all over the field in the victory. 

More importantly, a Washington loss has major implications on the United States if the rule is to be believed. 

With incumbent Barack Obama battling Mitt Romney for office, both were likely tuned in, if for the entertainment from Washington's team more than anything else. 

The Washington loss to Carolina means bad news for Obama supporters, as a loss means the non-incumbent wins the election the following week—with only one exception in the past 72 years. 

If the "Redskins Rule" is to be believed, Mitt Romney will defeat Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election. 

What do you think?


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