Who will win the election: 13 ways, some spooky, to predict the next president

Time to take a look at other ways to predict the presidential election rather than just the polls. Photo: Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama AP

WASHINGTON, October 28, 2012 — With Halloween just around the corner and the vibes in the universe quivering in anticipation of the presidential election, what better time than now to look at some spooky, loopy, and even scientific ways to predict the winner on November 6.

Here are 13 ways to get a jump on the pundits and figure out just who will be the next President of the United States:

1. Halloween masks — Spirit Halloween claims that since 1996 sales of its presidents’ masks have predicted the last four winners of the presidential election. This past week, the company, which has 1,000 stores in 49 of the 50 states says that Obama masks have been outselling Romney masks by 60% to 40% but has no data on the sales in swing states. Prediction: Obama

Obama and Romney masks Image: Halloween Spirit

2. Cookie bake offFamily Circle once again invited the candidates’ wives to submit their cookie recipes. It invited its readers to try out and sample the recipes and then vote for the best cookies. So far the great cookie bake off has predicted the next president four out of the last five times. This year Michelle Obama’s chocolate chip cookies beat out Ann Romney’s M&M cookies. Prediction: Obama

3. Washington Redskins victory — Football fans can look to the NFL to see into the future for the next president. Supposedly if the Washington Redskins win their last home game before the election, the incumbent’s party wins, but if the Redskins lose, the challenger moves into the Oval Office. That important Redskins game has accurately picked the winner of 17 of the last 18 elections, being wrong only in 2004 when Bush 2 held onto the White House. This year the Redskins play the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, November 4, two days before the election. Breaking News: The Redskins lost to the Carolina Panthers 21-13, which means good news for the GOP. Prediction: Romney

4. The economy, stupid — Two University of Colorado political science professors have predicted the winner of the every presidential contest since 1980. They look at the economic data of each state and the nation as a whole and then determine who will get the 270 electoral college votes to win the election. Included in their data are the unemployment numbers, amount of disposable income, and per capita income. Based on their analysis they see Obama only reaching 218 electoral votes. Prediction: Romney

5. On Line Gamblers — At Intrade, an online political betting site, gamblers have been putting their money on whom they think will win the election. They have correctly picked the winners of the last two elections. The betters have been laying down their money for Obama, giving him a 63.6 % chance of winning. But stay tuned: it changes day to day. Prediction: Leaning Obama

Is Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III the key to Obama winning? AP

 6. Astrology — Is an Obama win written in the stars? A panel of five astrologers seems to think so. Their reasoning rests on the fact that  the sun will move into the sign Aries. Prediction: Obama

7. LA Lakers — In the past the Los Angeles Lakers were used as a predictor if they took the NBA championship. And if they had, it would have been Mitt Romney as the winner based on the winning streak of 8 out of 9 predictions. However, they never made it to the finals. Prediction: ????

8. Kids and Scholastic magazine — Since 1940, Scholastic magazine has relied on kids to tell us who will be the next president. The kids have been right 16 out of the last 18 times. Between August 15 and October 10, nearly 250,000 children under 18 from across the country voted for whom they wanted as president in a survey conducted by Scholastic magazine and 51% of the kids picked Obama, 45% Romney and 4% other. Even kids in swing states pinpointed Obama the winner.  Prediction: Obama

9. World Series winner — While the winner of the World Series match-up between the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers is still unknown, sports fans do know that it all hinges on which League wins the Series. If the American League wins, then it is a Republican president; if the National League team takes the Series, then a Democrat will be sitting in the White House. Right now, the Giants, a National League team, leads 2-0. But there are more games to play. Prediction: ????

10. Misery Index — How miserable are Americans? Maybe not as miserable as you would think. The Misery Index — yes, there is such a thing — adds the unemployment rate with the annual inflation rate and that tells us just how miserable we actually are. Believe it or not, the Misery Index has correctly predicted nine of the last 12 presidential elections. Right now our Misery Index says we are not feeling as wretched as you may think.  At the end of the third quarter of this year the Index stood at 9.8%, a drop from 11.3% in 2008. So whether you know it or not, you are feeling somewhat better about things. Prediction: Obama

A bullish stockmarket AP

11. Rising stock market — Now the stock market has hit some bumps and had its ups and downs, but mainly it has been going up over the last four years. The editor of an investment newsletter, InvesTech Research,  Jim Stack has been analyzing the data closely and he found that since 1900, the direction of stock prices two months prior to the election makes it possible to predict the winner 89.3% of the time. “A rising stock market indicates an improving economy, which means rising confidence and increases the chance of an incumbent’s reelection,” he says. Prediction: Obama

12. 7-Eleven Coffee Drinkers — Yep, you can vote with your lips. With less than two weeks to the election, folks are taking big gulps out of their coffee cups and voting with their mouths. At 7-Eleven, the cups are colored-coded: Red for Romney and Republicans and Blue for Obama and Democrats. Since 2000, the number of colored cups has predicted the winner of the presidential elections. As of October 24, Obama’s cups are outselling Romney by 59% to 41%. (Caveat: 15 states are not participants in this unscientific vote, but they weren’t in the previous three elections either.) You can go to 7-eleven.com, click on a state or a city to see how the vote is going in your area. Prediction: Obama

13. Candidates’ Speeches — Chetan Narain writing for Forbes studied more than 1,000 speeches from 12 presidential campaigns between 1952 to 1996, adding in the 2008 election. “By analyzing the language in each speech, I created a model that predicted whether a speech came from a winning candidate or a losing one,” he explained. And his model has accurately picked the winner in 11 of the 13 elections or 85%.

While Democrats and Republicans use different words to rally their base, winners of the presidential elections of either party, employed some key words: very which shows urgency, win which demonstrates confidence that the candidate will do just that, and president which points to winning as certainty as in “When I am president.” Using the words Washington or percent is seen as either negative or boring. Prediction: ????

So there you have the bizarre 13 ways to figure out who the next president is. Ignore the polls and pick your favorite to know who will be president. Or better yet, just go with your gut instinct.

To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media.


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Catherine Poe

Catherine was named one of the top Progressives in Maryland along with Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congresswoman Donna Edwards. She has been a guest of President Obama in the Rose Garden.

As past president of Long Island NOW, she worked to reform women's prisons in New York, open the construction trades to women, change laws to safeguard battered women, and protect the rights of rape victims. 

Long active in Democratic politics, she served as the presidentof the Talbot Democrats in Maryland for six years and fought to getthe Health Care Reform bill passed.

Catherine has been published in a diverse range of newspapers and magazines, including Newsday, Star Democrat, Rocky Mountain News, Yellowstone News, and the Massachusetts Review.

If Catherine has learned anything over the years it is that progressive change does not come easily, but in baby steps. 

Contact Catherine Poe

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