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Leading election indicators

Published: Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 12:25 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 12:26 p.m. CDT

Legend has it there are a number of “important indicators” that can foretell the outcome of a presidential election.

One of them, the El Bubble Presidential Favorites bubble gum cigar, was discontinued this time around by its manufacturer. It had been surprisingly accurate, even mirroring exactly the razor-thin 2000 election.

But, there are other indicators that some presidential prognosticators like to use. Two of particular interest this year are:

• The Redskins Rule

The Redskins Rule goes like this: “If the Washington Redskins win their last home game before the election, the incumbent political party will win the presidential popular vote. If they lose, so will the incumbent party.”

The Washington Redskins of the NFL moved from Boston to our nation’s capitol in 1937. In every presidential election since (1940 on), the Redskins Rule has worked. This weekend, the Redskins will host the Carolina Panthers.

Washington, at last report, was a three-point favorite.

• Beautiful Ohio

Since the Civil War, Ohio almost always votes for the presidential election winner. The only elections in which the Buckeye State bucked the trend were in 1944 and 1960. Ohio has been carried by the eventual winner in every presidential election since 1964.

Currently, President Obama holds a 2.3-percentage point lead in the polls over Gov. Mitt Romney. That’s well within the margin of error, and is a strong indicator of how razor-thin the likely margin of victory in the 2012 presidential race has become.

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