The ‘Redskins rule’: Panthers get the win, so Mitt Romney will too

Mitt Romney will win Tuesday's presidential election thanks to Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers ... that is, if the so-called Redskins rule holds up.
(Emmanuel Dunand / AFP / Getty Images; Rob Carr / Getty Images)

The presidential election isn’t until Tuesday, but the “Redskins rule” has already determined the winner: Mitt Romney.

Why? Because the Carolina Panthers beat the Washington Redskins on Sunday, of course.


It only makes sense that the outcome of an NFL game involving the team based in the nation’s capital (or, these days, in nearby Landover, Md.) would determine who would be living at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.


Actually, it doesn’t make any sense at all. But somehow or another, it almost always seems to work out that if the Redskins win the last home game they play before a presidential election, the incumbent party gets the victory that Tuesday -- and vice versa.

It has worked out that way in 17 of the 18 elections that occurred since the team moved to Washington. The one exception came in 2004, when George W. Bush somehow overcame a Redskins loss and was reelected. That led to closer scrutiny the Redskins rule.

Turns out, it wasn’t the incumbent party that was affected by the rule -- it was the party that won the popular vote in the previous election (which the Democrats didin 2000). Easy mistake to make, since we hadn’t had to deal with that before. In that case, the Redskins rule has applied in all 18 cases.

Either way, Romney has to be feeling pretty good about his chances right now -- much better than the poor Redskins, who fell to 3-6 and are virtually out of playoff contention.


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