Politics and Baseball

If you read VEB a couple of days ago, you saw that Larry broke down the Cardinals record depending on what digit the year ended in. (8s have not been kind to the Birds.) A commenter then asked the record of the Cardinals in election years and any correlation between that record and who was elected into the White House. While someone beat me to it, I’d already started compiling the data for a post, so I’m using it anyway, especially since the race for the White House has its official start today.

There have been 29 presidential elections since the Cardinals first joined the National League. In fact, their inaugural year, 1892, was an election year. Here’s how it breaks down:

Winning Party Games Wins Losses %
Democrats 2027 1034 993 .510
Republicans 2476 1234 1242 .498
Total 4503 2268 2235 .504

General notes from looking at the data:

  • Both parties have won after the Cardinals have had a 100 win season.  The Democrats elected FDR for his final term after the Cardinals won 105 games in 1944.  The Republicans sent the current president back to Washington in 2004 after another 105 win season by the Cards.
  • Since 1960, the Dems are 422-380 (.526) while the GOP stands at 606-522 (.537).
  • The real down side for the Republicans came early in the Cardinals’ history.  They had four consecutive sub-.500 election years from 1896-1908, including a .308 (’96) and a .318 (’08).  The only hundred-loss season in an election year was 1908, when the Cards went 49-105.
  • The Cardinals have been to the NLCS the last three election years (1996 vs. Atlanta, 2000 vs. New York, 2004 vs. Houston).
  • The last time the Cardinals won a title in an election year was 1964.  They also won in 1944.

Depending on your politics, your views on the ’08 season and how much you want to read into this, you could be pretty encouraged or discouraged.  Personally, as a Republican (backing Mike Huckabee) and thinking this is a 73-76 win team, I’m hoping the overall pattern (doing worse in Republican-winning years) holds.  But I realize, as I’m sure most everyone does, that there is absolutely no correlation here.

Have a different view?  That’s what the comments are for!

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One Response to “Politics and Baseball”

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