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Politics and baseball: NL All-Star win historically means big GOP gains

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball Updated: July 14, 2010 - 1:58 PM

Were National League players merely fed up with the extended losing streak to the American League in the All Star game? Was the prospect of home field advantage in the World Series a real motivator? Or ... were Brian McCann and his cronies simply playing their hearts out to swing the 2010 election because they're aching for that upper-class tax cut?

The point is only logical to make in the wake of research done by the U of M's Smart Politics blog. The key grafs:

A Smart Politics analysis of All-Star game history and U.S. House elections over the past 60 years finds that a National League victory has preceded each of the last nine election cycles in which Republicans have enjoyed double-digit gains in the House since 1950.

The last time the GOP scored a substantial victory in the U.S. House was, of course, in 1994 - picking up 54 seats during the Republican Revolution that November.

On July 12th earlier that summer, the National League ended a six-game losing streak with a dramatic come-from-behind 8-7 victory. The NL scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie it up and won the game in the bottom of the 10th when San Diego's Tony Gwynn scored on a double by Montreal's Moises Alou.

The second biggest House Republican victory since 1950 took place in 1966, with the GOP winning back 47 seats after yielding 36 seats to the Democrats when LBJ was elected in 1964.

In the All-Star game on July 12, 1966, after spotting the American League a run in the top of the 2nd inning, the National League came back to tie the game in the 4th and won on a single by the Dodgers' Maury Wills in the bottom of the 10th.

It's one of those massive coincidences that seems to affect sports and politics. But it's more fun to think of it as a massive conspiracy theory whereby members of the AL team -- especially those who went 0-for-2 and threw a ball into center field -- attempted to throw the game on behalf of the GOP greater good.

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