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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Neil Malhotra
As voters, we like to think of ourselves as, well, thoughtful. Careful. Essentially reasonable. Patriotic citizens making important ballot box decisions based on issues, candidates and political arguments. If a growing body of behavioral research is right, however, we may be flattering ourselves.
Science is confirming something successful politicians seem to know instinctively: Support your local football team.
"Our estimates would say that an Ohio State victory would benefit Obama," said study co-author Neil Malhotra, an associate professor of political economy at Stanford University. "[New York City Mayor] John Lindsay completely attached himself to the 1969 Miracle Mets. People think that helped him. People think [French President] Jacques Chirac was helped by the French team winning the 1998 World Cup."
Mr. Malhotra said the answer lies in the power of mood and the ability of nonpolitical events to influence it.