The political is the personal

One of the venerable “predictors” of a presidential election is the World Series winner–American League team means Republican president, National League team means Democratic president. It has held 16 out of 26 times (when I first learned about it in a freshman poli sci class in 1986, it had held 13 out of 20 times).

Now, I’m a Cubs fan, so my rooting and political interests generally align (not that anyone is worrying about the Cubs playing in the World Series). My wife, however, is an Orioles fan and I have been watching and rooting for them (and wearing a ’70s-era bird hat) as a show of spousal support. But with the election fast-approaching, Obama’s polls tanking, and Andrew Sullivan losing his mind, I am beginning to wonder if I should continue rooting for an AL team right now. What should I do?

By the way, if you are looking for other sports-related predictors, try this: If the Redskins win their final home game before the election, the incumbent party retains the White House. This has held in 18 of the last 19 elections. The ‘Skins play the Carolina Panthers on November 4.

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2 Responses

  1. Ken Rhodes says:

    Howard, as a lifelong Orioles fan (the Browns arrived when I was eleven), I can put your fears to rest.

    16 out of 26 times is about one standard deviation off from 13 out of 26. One standard deviation is hardly a significant indicator of relevance. Furthermore, in your own data, you indicate that since your poli sci class it’s been three out of six; i.e., completely random.

    So root for our amazing Birds with impunity, knowing that sadly, we probably can’t influence the outcome of the World Series by our rooting, but happily, neither can the improbable victory, if it comes to pass, influence the election.