Clemson Political Football

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With the Presidential Election upcoming it seemed appropriate to see if there was any connection between Clemson football games and the outcome of the election. Actually, there isn’t!

Clemson might be the most politically correct team in the nation when it comes to predicting the outcome of an election based on what the Tigers do the previous Saturday.
Since 1896, when Clemson began playing football just a week before the Presidential Election, Clemson has won 18 games in its most recent contest prior to the election. The game following those 18 wins, Republicans have won nine times and Democrats have won nine times.

Conversely, the result of the election seems to have no influence on the result of the Clemson game the next time out. Clemson is 8-6-2 the game following a Republican victory and has a 6-7 mark the Saturday following a Democratic win.

Clemson has played well in recent years during the election season. The Tigers have a 13-3 the Saturday prior to the Presidential Election since 1948 and have won six of the last seven games the Saturday after the election.
The Tigers have had some noteworthy wins in recent years the first game after the election, including a 16-14 victory over South Carolina in 2000, and a 24-17 overtime upset at 10th ranked Miami in 2004. Clemson won an ACC Championship at Maryland (fitting) in 1988 the Saturday after George Bush (41) gained victory. So, Clemson was 3-0 the Saturday after a Bush wins the election.

Clemson defeated a top 20 North Carolina team 40-7 in 1992 the Saturday after Bill Clinton won for the first time, the second largest margin of victory in Clemson history over a ranked team. Four years later, the Saturday after Clinton won for the second time, Clemson upset a top 15 Virginia team on the road, 24-16.

There are some other oddities. In 1984 Clemson defeated Wake Forest 37-14 the Saturday before Ronald Reagan won the election. Four years later, Clemson defeated North Carolina by the exact same score the Saturday before George Bush (41) gained victory.

Clemson Results Before and After a Presidential Election

Date		President	Party		Game before Election	Game After Election
Nov.  3, 1896	McKinley	Republican	W 14-6 Furman		L, 6-12 S. Carolina
Nov.  6, 1900    T. Roosevelt 	Republican 	W 51-0 S. Carolina	W, 39-5 Georgia
Nov.  8, 1904	T. Roosevelt 	 Republican 	T 11-11 Georgia		W, 6-0 Tennessee
Nov. 3, 1908	Taft		Republican	L 0-13 Davidson		L, 0-8 Georgia
Nov. 5, 1912	Wilson		Democrat	L 7-22 S. Carolina	L, 6-27 Georgia
Nov.  7, 1916	Wilson		Democrat	W 27-0 S. Carolina	L, 7-37 VMI
Nov.  2, 1920	Harding		Republican	L 0-3 S. Carolina	L, 0-7 G. Tech
Nov.  4, 1924	Coolidge	Republican	L 6-50 VPI		L, 0-7 Davidson
Nov.  6, 1928	Hoover		Republican	L 7-26 Mississippi	W, 12-0 VMI
Nov.  8, 1932	Roosevelt	Democrat	W 18-6 Citadel		L, 18-32 Georgia
Nov.  3, 1936	Roosevelt	Democrat	W 14-13 G. Tech		W, 20-0 Citadel
Nov. 5, 1940	Roosevelt	Democrat	L 0-13 Tulane		L, 7-21 Auburn
Nov.  7, 1944	Roosevelt	Democrat	L 7-13 Wake Forest	W, 57-12 VMI
Nov.  2, 1948	Truman		Democrat	W 26-19 Boston College	W, 41-0 Furman
Nov.   4, 1952	Eisenhower	Republican	W 13-0 Boston College	T, 12-12 Fordham
Nov.  6, 1956	Eisenhower	Republican	W 21-6 VPI		T, 6-6 Maryland
Nov. 8, 1960	Kennedy		Democrat	W 24-0 UNC		W ,12-2 S. Carolina
Nov. 3, 1964	Johnson		Democrat	W 29-7 Virginia		L, 0-29 UNC
Nov. 5, 1968	Nixon		Republican	W 24-19 N.C. State	W, 16-0 Maryland
Nov.  7, 1972	Nixon		Republican	L 10-26 UNC		L, 6-31 Maryland
Nov.  2, 1976	Carter		Democrat	W 15-12 FSU		L, 23-27 UNC
Nov.  4, 1980	Reagan		Republican	W 35-33 Wake Forest	L, 19-24 UNC
Nov. 6, 1984	Reagan		Republican	W 37-14 Wake Forest	W, 17-10 VPI
Nov.  8, 1988	Bush		Republican	W 37-14 UNC		W, 49-25 Maryland
Nov. 3, 1992	Clinton		Democrat	L 15-18 Wake Forest	W, 40-7 UNC
Nov. 5, 1996	Clinton		Democrat	W 35-3 Maryland		W, 24-16 Virginia
Nov.  7, 2000	G.W. Bush	Republican	L 7-54 FSU		W, 16-14 USC
Nov. 2, 2004	G.W. Bush	Republican	W, 26-20 N.C. State	W, 24-17 Miami (FL)
Nov. 4, 2008	Obama		Democrat	W, 27-21, at BC		L, 27-41 at FSU	
						18-10-1			14-13-2

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