People who correctly predict the winning presidential candidate have employed seemingly irrelevant indicators over the years.
Some have noted that the taller of the two major party candidates tends to prevail. According to studies, tall men are perceived as more "authoritative" than diminutive males, are considered more desirable as a mate and are generally paid more money — each inch worth approximately $600 more per annum.
During the past 100 years, the tallest candidate has won in all but five races. Gov. Mitt Romney, interestingly enough, at 6 feet 2 inches, towers 25.4 silly millimeters over President Barack Obama.
Others, who realize like James Carville that "It's the economy, stupid," employ the link between women's hemlines and the stock market to predict the presidential winner. Wharton economist George Taylor established the correlation in 1926 after observing that when women's skirts are long, they aren't compelled to invest in expensive silk stockings.
Voters tend to choose the more conservative candidate during tough economic times and the electorate, according to Taylor, figure out it's the moment to vote Republican when the females they know are sporting granny dresses and, presumably, no pantyhose. This year, the average hemline is 33 inches. The last time hemlines were that long — it was during the Great Depression.
All that being said, I'd like to toss out another election marker for your appraisal. I think a cause and effect relationship exists between a presidential candidate's viewing habits and the number of Emmy Awards won by the particular television show.
President Obama has made no secret of the fact that watching "Homeland" is his No. 1 guilty pleasure. When he confessed to the "Hollywood Reporter" that he "requested and received four sets of Season I from Showtime" — the news went viral. And according to People magazine, the leader of the free world indulges his addiction whenever first lady and first daughter head out to the tennis courts.
But there's more. Not only was Damian Lewis, who plays Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody in the series, invited to a state dinner honoring England's Prime Minister David Cameron, but Lewis was also shocked and awed at getting quality face time that night with Obama himself. "It was a sensational, unforgettable evening," the British actor told TV Guide.
"I went down onto the South Lawn into the marquee with my wife and we were looking for table 20," disclosed Lewis, who previously played the unfaltering American major in "Band of Brothers" and the stuffy husband in "The Forsyte Saga."
"We thought we'd be (seated) by the toilets or something. And it turned out we were sitting directly opposite the president at his table. We were sort of like guests of honor."
Lewis claimed that President Obama actually questioned him about the series, but not in any great detail. "I did sort of joke with him that the creators of the show had asked him to give us a heads up on any foreign policy moves so that we could just stay current with season two," he said. "And he looked me straight in the eye and said, 'I'll be sure to do that.'"
Less than six months later, "Homeland" cleaned up at the 2012 Emmys. Nominated nine times overall, the Showtime hit brought home four statuettes including Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama for Claire Danes and Outstanding Lead Actor for Lewis. Coincidence? I think not.
Moreover, the import of Obama's ringing endorsement wasn't lost on Danes, who plays the bipolar CIA agent in the psychological thriller. Backstage at the Nokia Theater, the actress previously honored for "Temple Grandin" kidded with the press, "No pressure. It's way cool that he is a fan."
"Homeland" follows Carrie Mathison, a Cassandra not unlike Richard A. Clarke from the George W. Bush administration. Clarke was the so-called "alarmist" proved correct on Sept. 11, 2001. The Mathison character keeps insisting that Brody, now a national hero, was turned by al-Qaida while serving as an eight-year prisoner of war. The plan, she warns, is to attack America from the inside — but nobody wants to listen.
The real shocker for me, however, was discovering that "Modern Family" was Romney's favorite show. In fact, he revealed this fact on ABC's "Live! With Kelly and Michael." Is it merely coincidental that "Modern Family" also carted home four Emmys, including outstanding comedy series for the third year in a row? I think not.
Despite the significant differences that moderator "Silent" Jim Lehrer attempted to crystallize during last Wednesday's debate, the next president will be the candidate who can best influence the Emmy Awards. Was it the guy who prefers chills or the guy who prefers chuckles? We report; you decide.
Or in other words — "May the best fan win."