It will be the first NFL game played in the D.C. area on the Monday night before a presidential election in 24 years. The Redskins defeated the Atlanta Falcons 27-14 on Nov. 5, 1984; Ronald Reagan was re-elected the following day.
The Redskins, in fact, are an accurate barometer for presidential elections. According to Steve Hirdt of the Elias Sports Bureau, who coined the term “Redskins Rule” in 2000, the following bromide has held true for the past 17 presidential elections: If the Redskins win their last home game prior to Election Day, the party that won the popular vote in the previous election wins the White House; if the Redskins lose, the party that lost the popular vote in the previous election wins.
In this Monday’s case, a Steelers win would forecast an Obama victory; a Redskins win would indicate a McCain win.