The Washington Times - October 27, 2012, 12:18PM

Forget polls, pundits, and prognosticators: In 17 of the past 18 presidential contests, the outcome has been correlated with whether the Washington Redskins win or lose their final home game before Election Day.

The “rule” follows that if the Redskins win, the incumbent party usually stays in power. If they lose, the challenging party wins — so a Washington victory over the Carolina Panthers at home next Sunday would seemingly bode well for President Obama’s re-election chances.

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But Republican George Allen, the son and namesake of the legendary Redskins coach and brother of the current Redskins General Manager, Bruce, dismissed the trend and says he’ll be pulling for the ‘Skins on Nov. 4. Mr. Allen is running against Democrat Tim Kaine for U.S. Senate in Virginia in a race that could closely mirror the outcome of the presidential contest in the state.

“I know this is great fun,” Mr. Allen said after firing up some GOP volunteers in Sterling, Va. “President [George W.] Bush broke it, so I know you all can carry on with this stuff. There is absolutely no relationship between the two, and I’m going to be rooting for the Redskins and RGIII to push us to victory and Mitt Romney to be leading the ticket and leading the way for America’s future, and putting all Americans into the winner’s circle.”

Starting in 1940, the rule held until both the Redskins and Democrat John Kerry lost in 2004. But since President George W. Bush did not win the popular vote in 2000, that outcome led to a slightly modified “rule” that if the ‘Skins win, the party that last won the presidential popular vote will win the election.

The Redskins lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 23-6 in 2008 before the White House switched from Republican to Democratic hands, and the two teams square off again Sunday in Pittsburgh.

The 1-5 Panthers, who play in Chicago against the Bears Sunday, have lost four straight games. The Redskins, at 3-4, are in last place in the NFC East but just two games behind the first-place 5-2 New York Giants, though the Giants did come from behind to beat Washington 27-23 last week.