by Bill Staples, Jr.
Author's note: Back by popular demand, this is an update to my blog post published during the 2012 election.
Question: Is there a correlation between the winner of the World Series and the outcome of the Presidential Election?
Answer: It's not definitive, but more often than not, when the National League wins the World Series, a Democrat wins the Presidential Election; when the American League wins, a Republican wins the Presidential Election.
Let's look at the data:
|TABLE: World Series Winners and Presidential Election Winners, 1908-2016|
|Year||World Series Winner||League||Presidential Election Winner||Political Party||AL=Rep. NL=Dem. Correlation|
2016 Results: With the Cubs and Trump winning in 2016, then the correlation percentage dropped to 57.1% (16 for 28). If the Cubs and Clinton both had won in 2016, then of the 28 elections held between 1908 and 2016, there will have been a correlation (AL = Rep.; NL = Dem.) between the World Series winner and the Presidential Election 60.7%.
In my original blog post, I stated that the World Series-Presidential Election coincidence could be explained by the simple laws of probability (and coin flipping).
Some people would like to think that National Pastime is somehow connected to the pulse of the Presidential Election. But most likely it’s not.
I would say that once we reach 70% then someone might be able to argue that the winner of the World Series IS a strong predictor of the presidential election.
About the author
Bill Staples, Jr., is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) in Arizona, chairman of the of the SABR Asian Baseball Committee, board member of the Nisei Baseball Research Project, and a past speaker at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He received the 2011 SABR Baseball Research Award for his book: Kenichi Zenimura, Japanese American Baseball Pioneer (McFarland, 2011). Learn more at www.zenimura.com.