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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Another random predictor: Ending sports droughts

Returning to random sports-related electoral predictors: It occurred to me that there is a correlation between teams (in all sports) breaking legendarily long championship droughts and Republican electoral success. Consider:

1980: Philadelphia Phillies win their first World Series, becoming the last original/non-expansion team to win a Series. Ronald Reagan wins the presidency, beginning the political regime in which we still find ourselves.

1994: New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1940, a 54-year drought. Republicans take the Senate and the House (for the first time since 1954) in the Gingrich Revolution.

2004: Boston Red Sox win the World Series for the first time since 1918, an 86-year drought. George W. Bush reelected, surprising many pollsters and commentators.

2010: Chicago Black Hawks win the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1961, a 49-year drought. Republicans reverse most of the Democratic gains of 2006-08, retaking the House, closing the gap in the Senate, and ending Barack Obama's opportunity to achieve anything through the legislative process.

2016: Chicago Cubs win the World Series for the first time since 1908, a 108-year drought. And we know what happens in the election.

This is nothing we could use as a regular predictor, since legendary droughts are not broken that often. And, of course, we have to figure out how long or how much attention must be paid to make a championship drought "legendary." Still, the correlation is interesting.

Can people think of other examples? Are there counter-examples, in which some significant streak was broken and the Democrats achieved electoral success?

Posted by Howard Wasserman on November 23, 2016 at 09:03 PM in Howard Wasserman, Law and Politics, Sports | Permalink

Comments

GWB was ahead in the polls prior to the 2004 election. His victory margin was right around what the average of the polls were indiicating. If the commentators you were familiar with thought the election was going differently, maybe you were listening to too many faculty members.

Posted by: PaulB | Nov 23, 2016 9:53:44 PM

Counterexample: In 1992, when Democrat Bill Clinton was elected President, beating Republican incumbent George H.W. Bush, the Toronto Blue Jays became the first Canadian team to play in a World Series and the first non-American team to win the World Series.

Posted by: JCT | Nov 28, 2016 1:37:08 PM

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