All right, I’ll admit up front that I’m hardly a political prognosticator. Mitt Romney undeniably has the “big mo” going his way now and, barring a major gaffe or other unforeseen event that favors Obama, he looks to have a more than even chance. We’re starting to feel good about that. But what happened on Thursday evening may have cinched it. You see, the New York Yankees lost a playoff series (again). And their success, or lack thereof, actually correlates favorably to which party enjoys power.
Granted, this doesn’t always work. But since the 1960’s this factor has been pretty reliable. In the early 1960’s, the era of JFK/LBJ, the Yankees were highly successful, getting in the World Series every year from 1960-64 and winning twice. By the late 60’s and the advent of the Nixon Administration, the Yankees were mired in mediocrity. They weren’t a contender again until the mid-70’s and the rise of Jimmy Carter. During Carter’s presidency, the Yankees again were the top dogs of baseball as they won two more World Series and were always in contention. Then, when Ronald Reagan was elected, the Bronx Bombers again stopped winning titles and, during the Reagan and Bush I administrations, they went to exactly one World Series (and lost).
It took a while, but by 1994, the second year of Bill Clinton, the Yankees were on their way to another potential World Series title when the baseball strike cut the season short. But in 1996, with future Hall-of-Famer Derek Jeter on board, the Yankees went on another championship tear during Clinton’s second term, winning four World Series titles from 1996 through 2000. In 2001, with George W. Bush now in office, the Yanks made the Series again only to lose in Game 7 to the Arizona Diamondbacks. In 2003, they again made the Fall Classic only to lose to the Florida Marlins in six games. And in 2004, as Bush was about to be re-elected, came the most ignominious moment in Yankee history—blowing a 3-0 American League championship series lead to their arch-enemy, the Boston Red Sox—the first time in baseball history any team had come back from a three games to none deficit to win a playoff series.
Sure enough, Obama’s election in 2008 re-ignited the Yankee machine, and in 2009 they once again won the World Series, with usual playoff goat Alex Rodriguez having his finest playoff performance of a magnificent career. In 2010, as the Republicans overwhelmingly took back the House of Representatives and many state houses across the country, the Yankees failed to win the American League pennant, failed again in 2011, and now yet again in 2012. Although it’s never wise to write the Yankees off prematurely, as things sit right now it doesn’t look good for them in 2013 with their aging roster. What does this mean? Well, it sure looks like a Romney-Ryan win to me. So take that, Big Bird.