Why SEC football fans should vote Democrat in 2016 Presidential election
There are few things in the United States more hotly contended than presidential elections and college football — two entities that boil our collective blood every November (or every fourth).
It’s no secret that the SEC states proudly vote red along Republican Party lines.
But perhaps it’s in the best interest of those that live within the conference’s 11 states located below the (Derek) Mason-Dixon Line, to consider switching their allegiance to Democrat.
In the name of football, of course.
That edict doesn’t come from the mouth of a donkey nor elephant. It comes from Father Time, himself. History tells us that when a Democrat wins the White House during an election year, an SEC team usually wins a national title.
Dating to John F. Kennedy’s presidential victory in 1960, an SEC team has won the national title in six of the seven years that a Democrat has been elected by the American people to the role of Commander in Chief. That streak includes the past four times a blue-state representative has taken the presidency.
Here’s a look into history at presidential elections dating back more than five decades and the SEC’s dominance during those election cycles.
2012: Alabama Crimson Tide – Barack Obama (D)
Notre Dame played the role of Mitt Romney to Alabama’s Barack Obama in that season’s BCS title game, in that, neither contest was very close. The Crimson Tide rolled Notre Dame 42-14, while Obama downed Romney by a 332 to 206 electoral votes. Both Obama and Alabama also retained their incumbent titles with their respective wins — the President coming off his historic victory in 2008 and the defending-champ Tide, who won 2011 BCS championship over LSU.
2008: Florida Gators – Barack Obama (D)
The only one who might have been able to derail the momentum that Barack Obama built in the run-up to the 2008 election might have been the MVP of the BCS national championship game. That’s right, Tim Tebow, a man equally as polarizing as President Obama. Tebow and the Florida Gators finished the the 2008 season with a win over Oklahoma, the home state of Roberta McCain, mother of John McCain, Obama’s 2008 opponent.
2004: George W. Bush (R); Southern California
2000: George W. Bush (R); Oklahoma
1996: Florida Gators – Bill Clinton (D)
Bill Clinton and Steve Spurrier both arguably peaked in 1996; the former winning re-election to the White House, the latter earning his career’s lone national title. Clinton and the Florida Gators each cruised to easy victories in their respective contests. The Gators disposed of in-state rival Florida State 52-20 in the Sugar Bowl. Clinton soundly defeated Bob Dole (R) in an election that was fractured by the presence of a third-party candidate. Does that mean that Ohio State, who finished ahead of the Seminoles in the final Associated Press rankings, is the Ross Perot equivalent?
1992: Alabama Crimson Tide – Bill Clinton (D)
Miami might have held the No. 1 spot for the majority of the 1992 season, but Alabama finished on top by thoroughly grounding the Hurricanes. Same goes for incumbent President George H.W. Bush, who was upset by Bill Clinton during that year’s election cycle. Alabama’s title wasn’t as big a surprise, considering the team went 13-0 in Gene Stallings’ third season in Tuscaloosa — including a win over Florida in the inaugural SEC Championship Game. Both Miami and President Bush were the reigning champions at what they do, with the Hurricanes serving as that year’s defending champ. Bush, the nation’s 41st President, was forced to clean out his desk in the Oval Office.
1988: George H.W. Bush (R); Notre Dame
1984: Ronald Reagan (R); BYU
1980*: Georgia Bulldogs – Ronald Reagan (R)
Here’s the lone anomaly in the SEC/Democrat theory. It could be (poorly) argued that Ronald Reagan actually begat his political career as a Democrat. The 40th President is a prominent visage on the GOP’s proverbial Mount Rushmore, first rising to the world’s highest office courtesy of the 1980 election. Reagan did so by defeating Jimmy Carter, a Georgia native, whose home-state Bulldogs claimed the year’s national championship with a Sugar Bowl-win over Notre Dame. Reagan, as we all know, infamous played Irish halfback George “The Gip” Gipper in the 1940 motion picture “Knute Rockne, All-American.”
1976: Jimmy Carter (D); Pittsburgh**
**This is the only season dating to 1960 in which a Democrat was elected to the White House and an SEC team did not win the national title. It was a down year for the conference, with Georgia finishing No. 10 in the Associated Press rankings ahead of Alabama at No. 11.
1972: Richard Nixon (R); Southern California
1968: Richard Nixon (R); Ohio State
1964: Alabama Crimson Tide – Lyndon B. Johnson (D)
Alabama quarterback Joe Namath outdueled his Florida counterpart Steve Spurrier during the regular season en route to the second Associated Press title under legendary coach Bear Bryant. The Tide were pushed that year by Frank Broyles and Arkansas, who were dubbed national champs by seven voting bodies. It should also be noted that Alabama lost in the Orange Bowl to Texas, but was crowned champs by the AP before the postseason.
The Presidential race wasn’t quite as close, as Lyndon B. Johnson flattened his Republican competitor Barry Goldwater.
1960: Ole Miss/Missouri – John F. Kennedy (D)
There are five programs that claim that they’re the rightful heirs to the 1960 national title. Among them are Ole Miss and Missouri, which, granted, was a member of the Big 8 at the time.
Seven polls named the Johnny Vaught-led Rebels tops in the country, including the Football Writers Association of America.
The mathematical rating system called Polling System dubbed Mizzou as its No. 1 team. The Associated Press went with Minnesota as their best squad.
The uncertainty over the champ spilled into the political arena. President John F. Kennedy (D) eked out a win over Richard Nixon by less than 115,000 general election votes.