The Buckeyes of The Ohio State University may tip the election in President Obama’s favor. When they beat Illinois on November 3, they may subconsciously encourage the Ohio electorate to vote for the incumbent.

Economists Andrew J. Healy, Neil Malhotra, and Cecilia Hyunjung Mo show that wins by the local college football team increase the votes for an incumbent (president/governor/senator) by about 1.5%, in their article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The teams with the highest attendance (like my Buckeyes) can have a greater affect–as much as 3% (based on county-level election data and over 1600 games played by 62 teams from 1964 through 2008). In a close race, that can be enough to change the outcome.

Their study also showed the NCAA Basketball Tournament had a similar effect; and that mayoral elections can be affected by local teams winning, as well.

The study did not examine whether the half-time shows had any effect, but they are spectacular, anyway.

(via Slate, although Cowen and Grier chose to focus on the *penultimate* game before the election, for some reason. Mayber they are PSU grads. Go Buckeyes!)

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so may we categorize: