First, congratulations to the Cubs. 108 years is a long time to wait. I told my wife this is probably the only time in eight years we’ve probably been on the same side of an issue as President Obama. She asked me “why” and I had to remind her that Obama claims to be from Chicago (before Hawaii, Kenya, and Indonesia).
The purpose of my column today is just to ask the question of what happened to the usual talk of the winner of the Super Bowl or World Series being a predictor of who would be the next President. If there was such talk during the battle between the Indians of Cleveland and the Cubs of Chicago then I totally missed it.
I did a search of the Internet and here is what I found.
Until 1976, it appeared that the World Series was an accurate predictor of the presidential race. From 1952 to 1976, if the American League won the World Series, then the President would be a Republican. If the National League won, then the election would go to the Democrat. However, it all changed after that.
Then forty years later, a couple of SABR member stats-nerds decided to expand the data set to cover the years 1908 to 2008 and asked, could the winners of the World Series really predict who won the Presidential election?
And of course the answer was no.
Of 27 elections held between 1908 and 2012, there has been a correlation between the World Series winner and the presidential winner 16 times (59%). Statistically speaking, that’s more of a coincidence.
Other examples of ‘predictors’ from past and present years include the following:
• If the Washington Redskins win the week of the election, this means a win for the incumbent party. This has held true since 1936.
• Whoever’s Halloween mask sells the most will be the next president.
• When companies produce ‘competing’ products, whichever sells the most is supposed to predict the winner. For example, if a company has cups with images of the Republican and Democratic candidates, the one which outsells the other would be a predictor.
• If the Dow Jones Average gains over the time from August to October, this predicts a win for the incumbent.
• If the Los Angeles Lakers win the championship, then the Republican candidate will win.
I knew that the answer would be “no” because God is sovereign. Those that look for signs and wonders—or the “butterfly effect”—are sure to be disappointed. Yes there is “cause and effect” or “reaping and sewing” but that is not all. We live in an open system and not a closed one. God will bring His will to pass. Pray not that He is on your side but that you are on His.
I think Trump will win next week but I know that has always been a longshot in the eyes of most people. In my view, the World Series was just a distraction to get us closer to Election Day to end the drama, vote, and get on with the consequences.