Everyone has a system! Pundits are agonizing over national, or swing state polls, or as described in my buddy Ed Morrissey’s book “Going Red,” looking at the trends in the key counties in those swing states (if you haven’t read the book yet..make sure you do before the election). Quite honestly all these polls and demographic research is very hard work. Heck Karl Rove is still trying to figure out who won Ohio in the 2012 election. There are much easier ways to predict the presidential election. And the best part is that in the case of these alternate methods there is no math involved. These predictors use everything from the candidate’s hair style to the Washington Redskins to foretell the next POTUS.
World Series Winner: Beginning with the 1952 Election, every time an American League team won the MLB World Series a Republican wins the presidency. That worked for seven straight elections. But beginning with the first Reagan victory, it stopped working (at least for 4 out of the next 5 contests). It seems to be back on track as this trend was accurate for the last four elections. Personally this one puts me in a difficult position, with the National League NY Mets leading in the race for a wild-card spot in the MLB playoffs. If the Mets secure the spot how can I root for my favorite team to win the World Series if a win means a Clinton presidency?
The Redskins Rule: According to the Washington Times, the this rule “has an accuracy rate of either 94 or 100 percent” of predicting presidential elections, depending on how the rule is applied. Every time the Redskins win their final home game before a presidential election, the candidate representing the incumbent party remains in office. Every time they lose, the incumbent party’s candidate loses as well. It’s a predictor that has worked in 17 of 18 presidential elections since the Redskins arrived in Washington. (Some argue the rule is 18-for-18; more on that in a second.)
Here’s the exception, “In 2004, the Redskins lost to the Packers 28-14, suggesting Bush should have lost to John Kerry. Hirdt changed the way the rule is applied to have it refer to the previous winner of the popular vote, not the electoral vote.” Even though Bush won the election in 2000, Al Gore the Democrat won the popular vote. So now some say that the “party in power refers to winner of the popular vote,” so with the Redskins loss Al Gore’s party lost the election…either way 17 out of 18 “ain’t bad.”
In the final game of the 2015 season, the Redskins lost to the Cowboys which indicates that the incumbent Democratic Party should lose.
Hair Rule: Usually I am not one to talk hairline, but Dr. William Yates whose practice specializes in hair restoration talks about it all the time. According to the Doctor, since the 1960’s, when television became a huge part of the political campaign process, a candidate’s appearance and hairline has played a significant role in voter’s decision making.
“Studies show that framing of the face is a subconscious trigger that portrays the perception of superior strength, youthfulness, vitality and decisiveness, all qualities Americans look for in their Commander-in-Chief,” Yates says. “The only president that was balding in the last 50 years was Gerald Ford, who assumed office by default.”
The doctor is almost correct. Nixon’s hairline was receding, but not as much as his 1968 opponent Humbert Humphrey, and his 1972 opponent George McGovern had a “comb-over,” so the rule has held
According to Dr. Yates, because both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have good heads of hair, it defaults to the V.P. pick. And because Mike Pence has a superior hairline than Tim Kaine, Yates says it’s going to be a GOP year.
Olympics Hosting Theory: Politico reports that “In every election since 1968 (other than 1988), if the country hosting the summer games has already hosted an Olympics in the past, the incumbent party will hold on to the White House. But if a country is hosting the Olympics for the first time, the incumbent party is out of luck. (Just ignore the 1988 exception.”
Here’s the good news for Republicans. This year’s Olympics in Rio marked the first time Brazil hosted an Olympics which should indicate a Trump win.
Halloween Masks: Since the Reagan victory over Carter in 1980, whichever candidate whose Halloween mask sold the most won the election. This may give an advantage to Hillary Clinton as her face is more Halloween-scary.
The Freshness Test: Politico reminds us that, In 2003, Jonathan Rauch of the National Journal posited that a candidate doesn’t get elected president if it took them more than 14 years to move from their first major office (representative, senator, governor, mayor, etc.) to the executive branch (president or vice president). Sure enough, this statement is true for every president since Teddy Roosevelt, with the exception of Lyndon B. Johnson.
This method predicts Trump. Hillary Clinton won her senate seat 16-years-ago in the 2000 election. Trump has never held elective office.
Others: Believe it or not there are other methods; did the L.A. Lakers make the NBA Finals?; 7-Eleven coffee cups; Scholastic’s straw poll of school-aged kids, did the last academy awards winner have a happy ending (incumbent party wins) or sad ending; Who’s taller?; Super Bowl winner.
Out of the six ways to predict the election demonstrated above, four predict a Trump victory, and two says it is too early to tell.
If you can’t stand math and statistics, or if you really don’t have the time to use the polls–you too can be a political pundit, just keep track of all of the above.