On The Early Show Wednesday, political commentator Laura Schwartz noted that apolitical developments can actually be very astute forecasters.
If the Washington Redskins win their last home game before election, it means the incumbent party will get to stay in the White House. Since 1936, except for 2004, the outcome of that game has correctly predicted the winner of the race. For superstitious John Kerry supporters, the Redskins' defeat in that contest was reason to celebrate. Equally superstitious backers of President Bush had cause to worry. The Redskins lost to the Green Bay Packers in the 2004 tilt, but Mr. Bush won, anyway! This year, the Skins are home to play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Monday Night Football the night before the election.
Every time the Los Angeles Lakers have gone to the NBA finals in an election year, win or lose -- and it's happened seven times before, in 1952, 1968, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988 and 2000 -- a Republican has gone to the White House. This year, of course, the Lakers got there, but lost to the Boston Celtics in five games.
Whoever's Halloween mask sells the most will be the next president. Schwartz talked to BuyCostumes.com, which said that this year, 56 percent of the masks sold are Barack Obama masks, and 44 percent are McCain masks.
In 2000, due to the popularity of political masks, BuyCostumes.com began publishing statistics on presidential candidates' mask sales. It was soon apparent that those sales were as good a resource as the polls being done by major national media groups. Seeing the similarities, BuyCostumes.com then looked into some data on political mask sales in election years. Not only did they it ask five different mask manufacturers, it also spoke with 12 national stores about their sales history all the way back to 1980. Their findings were astounding and right every time.
Would-be First Lady Cookie Recipes: Since 1992, all wives of Democratic or Republican presidential candidates have sent cookie recipes to Family Circle magazine; readers have then baked both recipes and voted on their favorites. In 2004, Laura Bush's oatmeal chocolate chunk recipe beat Teresa Heinz-Kerry's pumpkin spice recipe by a two-to-one margin, garnering 67 percent of votes cast, indicating a victory for her husband, as well. Reader voted online this year and 54 percent opted for Cindy McCain's oatmeal butterscotch cookie recipe, while 44 percent preferred Michelle Obama's recipe for shortbread cookies. Two percent voted for Bill Clinton's oatmeal cookie recipe -- voting began during the primaries!