06/11/2012 07:10 GMT

US Election 2012: 'Redskins Rule' Predicts Mitt Romney Win After Washington Loss (PICTURES)

The Washington Redskins lost to the Carolina Panthers 21-13 on Sunday night, thanks to two touchdowns from quarterback Cam Newton and one from running back DeAngelo Williams.

Why does it matter? Well, the result has decided the outcome of the presidential election on Tuesday.

According to a tradition that has ruled for 72 years, Mitt Romney and the Republicans will claim the White House this week. Why are we so sure? Because the last Washington Redskins home game before the election has decided all but one presidential election since 1940.

The 'Redskins Rule', as it's come to be known, dictates that if the Redskins win at home, the candidate in the White House will win. If they lose, the incumbent party loses the White House.

cam newton

Onwards to the White House for Romney? Carolina's Cam Newton celebrates a first down

Barack Obama may be the pollsters' favourite this time round but, in the 18 elections since the Redskins became Washington's team in 1937, seventeen have followed the rule.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Redskins 37-10 in 1940, Franklin D. Roosevelt strode into the White House to begin the trend.

The only exception has been the 2004 contest between George Bush and John Kerry. The Redskins lost to Green Bay 28-14, but Bush retained the White House.

This year the Redskins have won only three of nine games and will almost certainly miss out on the biggest game of the year, the Super Bowl. But they may have already decided the result of the biggest match-up in world this year.