How the Washington Redskins May Have Predicted the Election

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You may have noticed some political reporters paying extra close attention to the result of this afternoon's football game between the Washington Redskins and the Carolina Panthers. They aren't football fans, they're just looking to see if they can guess the result of the election. Here's why. 

What they're paying attention to is what's known as the "Redskins Rule." Deadspin's Isaac Raunch explained the rule Sunday morning in a post about sports indicators of the election results: 

In 17 of the 18 presidential elections since the Redskins moved to DC in 1937, a Redskins loss [in their final home game before the election] has preceded a loss for the incumbent, while a Redskins win has preceded a win for the incumbent.

Going into Sunday's game, the Redskins were riding a wave of momentum because of the stellar play of their rookier quarterback, Robert Griffin III. They were playing a team with a 1-6 record who, in weeks prior, didn't look like they could tie their own shoelaces properly, much less play top flight football. Things were looking up for the Democrats. 

But, as they say, that's why we play the game. The Democrats Redskins got stomped, and lost to the lowly Panthers by a score of 21-13. That's not a good thing for the President. Whether or not the rule will hold up on Tuesday remains to be seen. Until then, Wall Street Journal political reporter Neil King passes on this stat: 

So, the game could be an indicator of the election outcome. Or it could be a sign of how perennially awful the Redskins are. We'll see on Tuesday. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.