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Another mistake involving the Redskins: a mis-interpretation of the Redskins Rule

November 6, 2012

You know the “Redskins Rule,” right? As it pertains to the presidential election? It goes like this: if the Washington Redskins win their final home game before the election, then the incumbent party wins re-election to the White House, whether that means a second term for the incumbent or a first term for a same-party successor, like George H.W. Bush succeeding Reagan.

If the Redskins lose that game, the other party wins the White House.

It worked every single time, from 1940 through 2000. But then, in 2004, the Green Bay Packers beat the Redskins, 28-14, on Halloween. Ahman Green ran for 70 yards and two touchdowns.

Yeah, the Packers used to run for touchdowns. Sometimes.

According to the Redskins Rule, John Kerry should have defeated George W. Bush. He did not. The Redskins Rule was busted.

Or was it?

Steve Hirdt, credited with the discovery of the rule, then modified it to refer not to the incumbent party in the White House but to the party that last won the popular vote. In the election in 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote, and thereby the revised Redskin Rule has been upheld.

Or perhaps it’s just that the Green Bay Packers transcend such metaphysical oddities as the Redskins Rule. Normal universal constants do not apply to them.

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