Will the Redskins/Panthers game decide the election?

With the U.S. Presidential election coming up on Tuesday, and the polls indicating a tight race, some superstitious pundits are paying extra attention this year to Sunday’s NFL matchup between the Washington Redskins and the visiting Carolina Panthers.  One of the nuggets in presidential election lore is the so-called “Redskins Rule”.  According to the rule, if the Redskins win their final home game before the general election, the party which won the previous election’s popular vote will win the electoral vote this time around.  If the Skins lose, the non-incumbent party wins.  In 2008, the Redskins lost their final home game to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and true to the lore, the non-incumbent party (Democrats) won the electoral vote as Barack Obama was elected the following Tuesday.  (George W. Bush had won the popular vote over John Kerry in the previous election in 2004).  The theory has been stunningly accurate, correctly predicting the outcome of 17 of the 18 elections held since the team located in the nation’s capital in 1937.  The only blemish came in 2004 when the Redskins lost their last home game before the election, however incumbent George W. Bush went on the win a second term.  So, if you’re hoping for a second term for Barack Obama, you’re rooting for the Redskins to win.  If you’re hoping for a Mitt Romney win, you’re pulling for the Panthers.  The Redskins are favored to win based on the latest Vegas point spreads.