Will Today’s Redskins Game Decide The Election?

Shortly, the Washington Redskins will be playing the Carolina Panthers at home in a game that they’re widely expected to win (although, this being the Redskins, that’s by no means assured.) If the Skins do win, at least one electoral harbinger says it could be good news for President Obama:

If history holds true, a Redskins victory would mean another four years for President Obama. A Redskins loss would mean a victory for Mitt Romney.

You may have heard of this. It’s called the Redskins Rule.

Since 1940 — when the Redskins moved to D.C. — the team’s outcome in its final game before the presidential election has predicted which party would win the White House each time but once.

When the Redskins win their game before the election, the incumbent party wins the presidential vote. If the Redskins lose, the non-incumbent wins.

The only exception was in 2004, when Washington fell to Green Bay, but George W. Bush still went on to win the election over John Kerry.

Well, people have been saying this election is looking like a repeat of 2004, haven’t they?

Personally, I’ll be rooting against the Redskins. Not because of what it means for the election, but because I’m a Giants fan and it’s in my blood.

Update: The Redskins lost 21-13. I still think Obama will win the election.


FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, Sports, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Jeremy says:

    Giants? One of the most boring teams in the League? Come on.

  2. Jeremy,

    Two Super Bowl wins in the last four years. Yea, so boring.

  3. Jeremy says:

    They just come off as dull. It has nothing to do with winning or losing. (This is also why I don’t like the Yankees. So you have 27 victories or whatever. You’re still boring.)

  4. Mr. Replica says:

    Panthers 21 – Redskins 6. With 12:00 minutes left in the fourth.

    If I had to put money down on the election based on this rule, I would say it’s going be like 2004. Redskins lose. Incumbent wins.

  5. Soldier says:

    Why do people want President Obama to win? What has he done? Let our men die overseas when they requested for back up, let our economy plummet, increase the deficit faster than George Bush? Why don’t people from New York and New Jersey learn to think for themselves instead of acting like the people from Jersey Shore?

  6. Hal 10000 says:

    Probably the very best thing about a second Obama term would be that we could retire the ridiculous Redskin Rule. I thought it had to go when they reacted to 2004 by saying, “Well, Gore won the popular vote in 2000, so….” But the Redskins predicted a gore loss in 2000!