CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cleveland Indians fell 8-7 to the Chicago Cubs in Game 7 of the World Series Wednesday night, crushing the hopes of locals who hoped to earn two championship wins in one year. The World Series, one of only a handful to go into the month of November, came in the midst of a contentious presidential election season in Ohio, and it looks like the results could potentially have an effect on who takes the all important swing state.
According to a 2010 study from Andrew Healy at Loyola Marymount University, a home team winning within 10 days of an election can result in a small increase in vote percentage for the incumbent party. Healy theorizes that this is because victory by sports teams puts people in a positive frame of mind, which makes them more likely to be content with the incumbent's status quo.
"When we're in a good mood, we overestimate the frequency of happy events in our lives, we interpret things around us more favorably and we spend more time thinking about the positive sides of the things we're judging," wrote Ed Young of Discover Magazine. "These trends hold true even for things that have nothing to do with whatever made us happy."
Healy's study showed that, if the local team won in the 10 days before the election, the incumbent's share of the vote went up by a statistically significant 0.8 percentage points. The effect became bigger when adjusted for the intensity of fans-- when an underdog team won, the incumbent's vote share went up by 1.61 percentage points.
What does this mean for the 2016 election? In the heavily Democratic Illinois, where Chicago is currently celebrating the Cubs' win, it could mean even more of a blow-out for Clinton and other Democratic incumbents. However, in Ohio, where the election is much more up in the air, it could potentially mean a Trump victory.
Of course, this is just one study, and there's no definitive evidence proving that the Indians' loss will definitely have an effect on the election. However, the Indians' deep November run may have already had another effect on the election: early voter turn-out in Cuyahoga County is down by more than 25 percent compared to the same point in 2012.
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