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Football
Political Football
By: Clemson Sports Information  
Release:  10/31/2012

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 record 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 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 Football Results Surrounding Presidential Elections
Election Winner Party Clemson Before Clemson After
Nov. 3, 1896 McKinley Republican W, 14-6 - Furman L, 6-12 - South Carolina
Nov. 6, 1900 T. Roosevelt Republican W, 51-0 - South 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 - South Carolina L, 6-27 - Georgia
Nov. 7, 1916 Wilson Democrat W, 27-0 - South Carolina L, 7-37 - VMI
Nov. 2, 1920 Harding Republican L, 0-3 - South Carolina L, 0-7 - Georgia 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 - Georgia 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 - North Carolina W, 12-2 - South Carolina
Nov. 3, 1964 Johnson Democrat W, 29-7 - Virginia L, 0-29 - North Carolina
Nov. 5, 1968 Nixon Republican W, 24-19 - NC State W, 16-0 - Maryland
Nov. 7, 1972 Nixon Republican L, 10-26 - North Carolina L, 6-31 - Maryland
Nov. 2, 1976 Carter Democrat W, 15-12 - Florida State L, 23-27 - North Carolina
Nov. 4, 1980 Reagan Republican W, 35-33 - Wake Forest L, 19-24 - North Carolina
Nov. 6, 1984 Reagan Republican W, 37-14 - Wake Forest W, 17-10 - VPI
Nov. 8, 1988 Bush Republican W, 37-14 - North Carolina W, 49-25 - Maryland
Nov. 3, 1992 Clinton Democrat L, 15-18 - Wake Forest W, 40-7 - North Carolina
Nov. 5, 1996 Clinton Democrat W, 35-3 - Maryland W, 24-16 - Virginia
Nov. 7, 2000 G.W. Bush Republican L, 7-54 - Florida State W, 16-14 - South Carolina
Nov. 2, 2004 G.W. Bush Republican W, 26-20 - NC State W, 24-17 - Miami (FL)
Nov. 4, 2008 Obama Democrat W, 27-21 - Boston College L, 27-31 - Florida State
All-Time Records: 18-10-1 14-13-2


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