Very Superstitious: Obama, McCain, Statistics, and Quack Science

Will the sales of this mask determine our next president?

Will the sales of this mask determine our next president?

According to NFL statisticians, the outcome of the Washington Redskins’ last home game before a presidential election has correctly predicted the outcome of 18 of the last 19 elections (the one exception was the past election in 2004). According to legend, if the Redskins win their final home game In Washington before the vote, the incumbent party’s candidate will take the election. If they lose, the challenger wins. This formula means things are looking good for Senator Barack Obama, as the Skins got handily routed by the Pittsburgh Steelers last night. After the jump, some more examples of superstitious presidential predictors that have turned out to be, inexplicably, pretty darned accurate:

Halloween Masks
The candidate that sells more Halloween masks has won the presidency in every election since 1980. This year, has reported sales of 55 to 45 percent in Obama’s favor, while has seen Obama masks outsell McCain, 53 to 47. Note: Sarah Palin masks, to throw a kink in this airtight logic, have outsold Joe Biden masks 3 to 1. What does this mean for the outcome of the election? Time will tell.

T-Shirt Sales
I mean, I live in Brooklyn, the land of Obama The Folk Hero Messiah, so this one seemed like a no-brainer to me. But, despite the fact that this is, in fact, Modern Jackass, and I would be perfectly justified in saying that Obama has the t-shirt market cornered by simply observing the trends at sidewalk sales along Clinton Ave on a Sunday morning, I figured I’d look up some actual figures, just to cover my bases. And what did I find, you may ask? Well—according to CafePress, Obama merchandise has accounted for 52.7 percent of all political swag sales, while McCain is pulling in a measly 17.76 percent. Yeesh. Even when you add Palin’s nothing-to-scoff-at 14.83 percent sales to that number, the Republicans are still only selling 32.59 percent of political merch. Point Obama.

The Voice of the Children
The Weekly Reader has been polling kids in grades 1-12 on their pick for commander-in-chief in every election since 1956. And results show that the kids are, in fact, alright, as they’ve correctly picked the winner 12 out of 13 times. This year’s outcome? Obama, 54.7 to 42.9.

Not counting the first, oh, hundred and fifty years or so of the American Presidency (due to the fact that dudes were real short back then), height has been a fairly reliable predictor of which candidate will win the presidency, especially in the age of television. Since 1928, the taller candidate has won the election 16 times out of 20 (George W. Bush was the last vertically-challenged candidate to beat the odds, defeating two taller opponents, Al Gore and John Kerry, in 2000 and 2004, respectively). This year, Barack Obama stands at a strapping 6’1”, and if he wins, he’ll be among the ten tallest U.S. presidents in history. Alternatively, McCain stands at a non-threatening 5’6”—a McCain victory would make him the shortest president in 116 years, and tied for the second shortest president of all time.

So there you have it. Even if you don’t subscribe to the abundance of actual polling data that is consistently giving Obama the edge, you can take comfort in the fact that the overwhelming majority of these unsubstantiated illegitimate measures are strongly in his favor. Gobama, baby.

One Response to Very Superstitious: Obama, McCain, Statistics, and Quack Science

  1. Obama’s not tall. He just redistributed the height in his favor. Commie.

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