Is Denver winning a good sign for Republicans?

broncos-panthersRepublicans saddened by the Carolina Panthers losing Super Bowl 50 to Denver can take some comfort in that in the past it’s been a good sign that they’ll win the White House in November.

In what was likely Peyton Manning’s final game, Denver, the AFC champion, defeated Carolina, the NFC champion, 24-10 Sunday night with an amazing display of defensive prowess.

And at the tail end of the Republican debate the night before, the seven candidates on stage were asked the prerequisite pop culture question – who do you have winning the Super Bowl?

Four of the candidates – John Kasich, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz – all predicted the Carolina Panthers would win; while Jeb Bush, citing Peyton Manning’s support, and Chris Christie chose the Denver Broncos. Ben Carson refused to pick.

With South Carolina’s primary less than two weeks after the game, Bush and Christie taking the Broncos might not have been seen as smart politics. Or was it?

In one of those fun quirky stats, (proving once again that correlation does not equal causation), every time the AFC team has won the Super Bowl in the previous nine election years, a Republican has won the Presidency. During the same period, when the NFC team has won,  the Democrats have won the election, with two exceptions.

Here’s the chart:

2016: Super Bowl 50 winner – Denver Broncos (AFC), Election winner – ???

2012: Super Bowl XLVI winner – New York Giants (NFC), Election winner – Obama (D)

2008: Super Bowl XLII winner – New York Giants (NFC), Election winner – Obama (D)

2004: Super Bowl XXXVIII winner – New England Patriots (AFC), Election winner – Bush (R)

2000: Super Bowl XXXIV winner – St. Louis Rams (NFC), Election winner – Bush (R)

1996: Super Bowl XXX winner – Dallas Cowboys (NFC), Election winner – Clinton (D)

1992: Super Bowl XXVI winner – Washington Redskins (NFC), Election winner – Clinton (D)

1988: Super Bowl XXII winner – Washington Redskins (NFC), Election winner – Bush (R)

1984: Super Bowl XVIII winner – Los Angeles Raiders (AFC), Election winner – Reagan (R)

1980: Super Bowl XIV winner – Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC), Election winner – Reagan (R)

Maybe that’s why Jeb felt safe with his pick. After all, the two times the trend was broken, someone named Bush was running for President, once by his father and once by his brother. And in one of those games, the 2000 match-up between St. Louis and Tennessee, the Rams were able to win only after stopping Tennessee at the one-yard line on the final play of the game. The 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore? You might say it was even closer.

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