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Can Super Bowl Results Pick the President?

Correlation exists between game score, Republican or Democrat victory in election


Among many other fascinating Super Bowl side effects, there is one with significant political implications. The score of the game — more specifically, if the game is a close one or a blowout — seems to indicate which party will win the presidency.

Thus far, there have been 11 election-year Super Bowls. When the games have been decided by 14 points or less, the Democrats have gone 4-3 in the election. The 1976, 1992, 1996, and 2008 elections went to Democrats, while 1980, 2000, and 2004 went to Republicans. However, the four occasions when election-year Super Bowls were decided by more than 14 points, the Republican candidate won each election — 1968, 1972, 1984, and 1988.

A Super Bowl blowout frequently preceded an election-year blowout. Richard Nixon won 520 electoral votes in 1972, Ronald Reagan won 525 electoral votes in 1984, and George H.W. Bush won 426 electoral votes in 1988.

Incidentally, 1988 was the last election-year Super Bowl blowout, when the Washington Redskins walloped the Denver Broncos 42-10.  The last election year Super Bowl? None other than this year’s Super Bowl participants, the New England Patriots and New York Giants. The Giants spoiled the Patriots’ bid for a perfect 19-0 season by narrowly winning the game 17-14.

— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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