The NFL’s Washington Redskins have a knack for correctly predicting who will become the next president of the United States. With the 2016 election just days away, that’s bad news for Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Discovered by Elias Sports Bureau statistician Steve Hirdt in 2000, the so-called “Redskins Rule” states that the result of Washington’s last home game before the presidential election correlates to which candidate ultimately wins the election. A Redskins victory means that the candidate representing the current president’s party will win, while a loss means that the challenger will win.
What does that mean for this year’s election? The Redskins’ most recent home game in Washington D.C. occurred on October 16, when quarterback Kirk Cousins led them to a 27-20 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. If the Redskins Rule holds true, Clinton is destined to succeed Democrat Barack Obama as President
The Redskins Rule is pure superstition, but it has been eerily accurate over the last several decades. Since 1936, the phenomenon has correctly predicted the result of 17 out of 19 presidential elections. The only exceptions occurred in 2004, when Republican George W. Bush secured his second term against challenger John Kerry despite a Redskins loss, and in 2012, when Obama defeated GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
So, how worried should Trump be about falling victim to the tradition? Put it this way: even the trend’s discoverer has his doubts about its power.
“I was surprised to see the life that it had this year. This would be the 20th year. Once it failed twice, it didn’t have the same life to me that it seemed to have previously,” Hirdt told the Washington Post in October. “However, we are mere mortals here, just like those who try to predict earthquakes. Our job is just to look at the data and try to make sense of what we have.”
Voters will decide on Tuesday if the Redskins Rule will be accurate for the 18th time. Clinton leads Trump 45% to 43% in the latest Fox News poll.