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The Super Bowl and Predicting Elections

FREEDO
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2/4/2014 12:29:20 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Now, I'm not jumping to any conclusions. There are plenty of different ways people claim to predict random stuff based on completely unrelated things that have happened to correlate over the years. I recall an octopus that could supposedly predict elections. Stuff like that is bound to happen at some point.

But the Super Bowl is probably more of a big deal than an octopus. And it can even be considered something of a political metaphor.

So it's interesting to find that the results of the Super Bowl are incredibly (but not entirely) accurate when it comes to predicting elections.

According to the legend, if an NFC team wins, Democrats will win. If AFC wins, it goes to the Republicans.

In this case, NFC has won. Which predicts a victory for Democrats in this years midterm election.

Lets take a look at the record. All the way back to Reagan.

2012 - NFC wins. Democratic win.
2010 - NFC wins. Republican win.
2008 - NFC wins. Democratic win.
2006 - AFC wins. Democratic win.
2004 - AFC wins. Republican win.
2002 - AFC wins. Republican win.
2000 - NFC wins. Democratic win (by popular vote).
1998 - AFC wins. Republican win.
1996 - NFC wins. Democratic win.
1994 - NFC wins. Republican win.
1992 - NFC wins. Democratic win.
1990 - NFC wins. Democratic win.
1988 - NFC wins. Republican win.
1986 - NFC wins. Democratic win.
1984 - AFC wins. Republican win.

11 (arguably 10) out of 15 is preeeeetty good. But 3 out of 4 of the ones that got missed are midterms, as opposed to presidential elections.

I couldn't find all the stats in one place, so I researched it myself the hard way. Let me know if you find anything wrong with it.

NFC wins have also been said to predict good stock prices. Among other, less plausible, things.

What do you think?
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fnord
FREEDO
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2/4/2014 12:41:15 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Another funny correlation: If the movie that wins best picture has a positive message, the incumbent wins. If it's negative, they lose.

There are many others. But I likes these two.

Before anyone brings it up, I don't like the Redskins rules as much. It's overly selective. The chances of being right every time are greatly improved if you narrow it down to a random team that you cherry-picked out of all of them. But that isn't to say there's nothing to it.
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fnord
Noumena
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2/6/2014 7:46:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
What's the Super Bowl?
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imabench
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2/7/2014 12:39:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/4/2014 12:41:15 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Another funny correlation: If the movie that wins best picture has a positive message, the incumbent wins. If it's negative, they lose.

There are many others. But I likes these two.

Well the Seahawks are in the NFC which by this trend suggests the Dems will win the midterm elections, but does anybody happen to know if most of the nominees for Best Picture this year are positive or negative? Like half of them are indie movies that I didnt get a chance to see until after they got great reviews, so I literally have no idea if they are leaning towards positive message or negative message
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R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
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2/8/2014 12:47:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Why would you associate something as petty and meaningless as politics with the Superbowl?
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FREEDO
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2/8/2014 11:27:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/8/2014 12:47:18 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
Why would you associate something as petty and meaningless as politics with the Superbowl?

Because political parties and sports teams are both products of the same social norms that develop from the phenomenon of in-group mentality.

The results of sports events may not only predict but affect election results. As it turns out, there's some really silly things that can affect people's choices in the voting booth, including sports events, the weather, what their mood is and what order the names are written on the ballot.

Most voters are idiots.
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fnord
TheJesusParadox
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2/9/2014 6:14:43 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/4/2014 12:29:20 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Now, I'm not jumping to any conclusions. There are plenty of different ways people claim to predict random stuff based on completely unrelated things that have happened to correlate over the years. I recall an octopus that could supposedly predict elections. Stuff like that is bound to happen at some point.

But the Super Bowl is probably more of a big deal than an octopus. And it can even be considered something of a political metaphor.

So it's interesting to find that the results of the Super Bowl are incredibly (but not entirely) accurate when it comes to predicting elections.

According to the legend, if an NFC team wins, Democrats will win. If AFC wins, it goes to the Republicans.

In this case, NFC has won. Which predicts a victory for Democrats in this years midterm election.

Lets take a look at the record. All the way back to Reagan.

2012 - NFC wins. Democratic win.
2010 - NFC wins. Republican win.
2008 - NFC wins. Democratic win.
2006 - AFC wins. Democratic win.
2004 - AFC wins. Republican win.
2002 - AFC wins. Republican win.
2000 - NFC wins. Democratic win (by popular vote).
1998 - AFC wins. Republican win.
1996 - NFC wins. Democratic win.
1994 - NFC wins. Republican win.
1992 - NFC wins. Democratic win.
1990 - NFC wins. Democratic win.
1988 - NFC wins. Republican win.
1986 - NFC wins. Democratic win.
1984 - AFC wins. Republican win.

11 (arguably 10) out of 15 is preeeeetty good. But 3 out of 4 of the ones that got missed are midterms, as opposed to presidential elections.

I couldn't find all the stats in one place, so I researched it myself the hard way. Let me know if you find anything wrong with it.

NFC wins have also been said to predict good stock prices. Among other, less plausible, things.

What do you think?

I think you are on to something; the only problem is your research does not take into account gerrymandering.
R0b1Billion
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2/9/2014 11:38:39 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/8/2014 11:27:40 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 2/8/2014 12:47:18 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
Why would you associate something as petty and meaningless as politics with the Superbowl?

Because political parties and sports teams are both products of the same social norms that develop from the phenomenon of in-group mentality.

I just call it "pride." It is just as damaging when extended to a group as it is when it is used for yourself. My city is the best, my nation is the best, my church is the best, my team is the best, my family is the best, my company is the best, my school is the best. We seem to get the positive moral component (i.e., self-actualization) intertwined with pride and greed, which is sad.

With that said, Mr. Freedo, I have to tell you that the path you are following is a dead-end. To a non-football fan like yourself, you might find great significance in which conference wins the championship, as there are only two conferences in football and, at first glance, it would appear that you are either with one or the other. However the conference is one of the most meaningless categories there is. Team-affiliation is decided predominately by one of two factors: location and popularity. I like the Packers because I live in Green Bay. That is not a coincidence. The Cowboys and 49ers are popular teams because of dynasties they had at one point in their histories, and therefore have fans scattered all through the nation. Although there is a minute percentage of fans who will root for the conference of their favorite team when and if they are eliminated from playoff contention, this probably pales compared to the percentage of fans who will root against their conference because these teams were responsible from eliminating their team in the first place. In fact, you'll find that the closer a team is in orientation to your "home" team, the more you will hate them. Teams that are in the Packers' division (each conference contains four divisions), for instance, (Bears, Vikings, Lions), are despised by our fans with much more intensity than teams in other divisions within our conference, and teams in the opposite conference play us so rarely we really don't care much about them either way. So as a Packer-fan, I will love the Packers but hate teams within my division intensely, and hate teams within my conference moderately. Teams in the opposing conference, the AFC, are more likely to be liked by me for "getting even" with the teams that eliminate the Packers from NFC contention. For example, in the NFC Championship game, we had the 49ers and the Seahawks. Both of these teams have a bitter history in the playoffs against the Packers, so I wanted to see the AFC team in the SuperBowl give me the satisfaction of watching one of these teams lose.

Conference-loyalty is extremely weak, and in many cases the opposite effect has even greater influence. Putting that together with a complete lack of any connection between any particular conference and politics, I cannot further take seriously this examination. Hell, the most Republican-minded individual in the league (Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys) is in the NFC. He used to have George Dubya sitting on the sidelines during games.

The results of sports events may not only predict but affect election results. As it turns out, there's some really silly things that can affect people's choices in the voting booth, including sports events, the weather, what their mood is and what order the names are written on the ballot.

Most voters are idiots.

I agree with all this, but as of yet there is nothing to convince me that football has any connection to politics other than a statistically-weak correlation that most likely will even-out as time goes on. NFL conferences are simply an extremely meaningless distinction, as each contains teams from every area of the country.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
darkkermit
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2/9/2014 4:04:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
i'm also curious to what it means by "win". The presidency? The house? The senate? What if one party wins the senate, the other wins the house. Is it a democrat win or republican win? One party wins the presidency and the other the congress, who won?
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Khaos_Mage
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2/9/2014 4:07:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 4:04:23 PM, darkkermit wrote:
i'm also curious to what it means by "win". The presidency? The house? The senate? What if one party wins the senate, the other wins the house. Is it a democrat win or republican win? One party wins the presidency and the other the congress, who won?

I'm guessing it means whoever wins more races, period.
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darkkermit
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2/9/2014 4:17:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 4:07:07 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 2/9/2014 4:04:23 PM, darkkermit wrote:
i'm also curious to what it means by "win". The presidency? The house? The senate? What if one party wins the senate, the other wins the house. Is it a democrat win or republican win? One party wins the presidency and the other the congress, who won?

I'm guessing it means whoever wins more races, period.

i've always found that method almost always fails.
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PatriotPerson
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2/9/2014 9:20:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/4/2014 12:41:15 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Another funny correlation: If the movie that wins best picture has a positive message, the incumbent wins. If it's negative, they lose.

There are many others. But I likes these two.

Before anyone brings it up, I don't like the Redskins rules as much. It's overly selective. The chances of being right every time are greatly improved if you narrow it down to a random team that you cherry-picked out of all of them. But that isn't to say there's nothing to it.

Really depends on what you define as positive and negative.
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FREEDO
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2/10/2014 10:06:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 4:04:23 PM, darkkermit wrote:
i'm also curious to what it means by "win". The presidency? The house? The senate? What if one party wins the senate, the other wins the house. Is it a democrat win or republican win? One party wins the presidency and the other the congress, who won?

My stats are based on who gained more seats in the house of representatives, except in years when there was a presidential election, in which case it was based on that.
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fnord
darkkermit
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2/11/2014 3:04:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/10/2014 10:06:32 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 2/9/2014 4:04:23 PM, darkkermit wrote:
i'm also curious to what it means by "win". The presidency? The house? The senate? What if one party wins the senate, the other wins the house. Is it a democrat win or republican win? One party wins the presidency and the other the congress, who won?

My stats are based on who gained more seats in the house of representatives, except in years when there was a presidential election, in which case it was based on that.

Oh, glad to know you didn't try to base it off something in order to get your numbers to work out.
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FREEDO
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2/11/2014 8:50:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/11/2014 3:04:12 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 2/10/2014 10:06:32 PM, FREEDO wrote:
At 2/9/2014 4:04:23 PM, darkkermit wrote:
i'm also curious to what it means by "win". The presidency? The house? The senate? What if one party wins the senate, the other wins the house. Is it a democrat win or republican win? One party wins the presidency and the other the congress, who won?

My stats are based on who gained more seats in the house of representatives, except in years when there was a presidential election, in which case it was based on that.

Oh, glad to know you didn't try to base it off something in order to get your numbers to work out.

That's the pattern I arbitrary stuck with because I realized it's what I was doing anyway, half way through. I asked the same question you did but not at first.
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fnord