According to a new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, written by economist Andrew Healy of Loyola Marymount University and others, wins by local sports teams have a measurable effect on the number of votes an incumbent gets in an election if the two events are close enough.
Healy studied date from dozens upon dozens of DI college football teams and elections since 1964. What did he find?
A win by the local team in the two weeks before an election corresponded to almost one percent more votes for the incumbent from voters in that team's county.
If it was a "surprise" win, the difference could be up to 2.4%.
What does this have to do with the Buckeyes? Well...
Leading up to the 2004 presidential election, Ohio State won consecutive games - and Ohio went to incumbent Bush by just over two percentage points. Had it gone the other way, John Kerry might have won the national election.
"Anytime when Ohio is decided by two percentage points, it could be decided by Ohio State," lead author Healy told Reuters Health. "But it's really hard to know at any one time" what the deciding factors in elections are, he said.
Was that Alamo Bowl berth really worth it, Buckeye fans?
Follow me on Twitter: @vincethepolack
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