The Carolina Panthers pulled off an upset on Sunday as they defeated the Washington Redskins 21-13. The road win for Carolina improves them to 2-6 and keeps alive any faint playoff hopes. However, in more important news, this result might give us some insight into the results of the 2012 Presidential Election. The Panthers win could very well mean that Mitt Romney springs the upset on Election Day.
The "Redskins Rule" states that when the Washington Redskins win their final game before the presidential election, the party that win the popular vote in the previous election wins the electoral college vote in the upcoming election. When the Redskins lose their final game, the party that lost the popular vote in the previous election wins the electoral college vote in the upcoming election. This used to be simply incumbent party, but the streak was snapped when George W. Bush defeated John Kerry shortly after the Redskins lost to the Packers in 2004. The verbage was changed to cover popular vote since Bush lost the 2000 popular vote.
The Redskins rule dates back to 1940, following their move from Boston to Washington, DC in 1937. A few days after the Redskins beat the Steelers, Franklin Roosevelt defeated Wendell Wilkie in a landslide. In 2008, the Redskins lost to the Steelers and a few days later Barack Obama defeated John McCain of the incumbent Republican party.
Although the presidential campaigns might be paying a bit more attention to other matters, it will be interesting to see if the Redskins rule holds up this year. Barack Obama is a sizable betting favorite, with one online sports book already opting to pay out on an Obama win. This could prove to be the biggest test yet of the Redskins Rule.