It works like this. If the Redskins win their last home game prior to an election, the incumbent party will stay in office. If they lose, so does the candidate of the incumbent party. The only year in which this hasn't held true since 1936 was 2004, giving the Redskins Rule a 94.4 percent record of accuracy.
As a culture, of course, we're too rational and enamored of the scientific method to really believe in such bunk. Or are we?
You might be interested to know that Barack Obama's campaign manager, Aaron Pickrell, hasn't shaved for the past month and never goes out without wearing his Columbus Clippers baseball cap. Chief strategist David Axelrod has been carrying a pink quartz heart every since a stranger gave it to him at a campaign event. “She seemed to have an aura about her,” Axelrod explained to Politico.com. “We have been doing pretty well since then.”
John McCain has always gone to a movie on election day, a three-decades-old ritual he says he will break this November 4 to do some last minute campaigning. Will it cost him the election? The New York Daily News says Obama will be playing his traditional game of pickup basketball before the election. Joe Biden will be wearing his lucky St. Christopher's medal and carrying rosary beads that belonged to an uncle to died in World War II.
Voters, too, have their election day superstitions -- wearing certain-colored clothing, knocking on wood, carrying lucky charms, and the like. Psychologists say people cling to such rituals because it gives them an illusory sense of control.
Lucky charms are all well and good if they give comfort or relieve anxiety, but there's one election day ritual every citizen should regard as compulsory -- the act of voting itself. See you at the polls!
Update: On Nov. 4, 2008 Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States.