Why the Olympics Could Be Bad News for GOP
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2009 7:59 PM CDT
The Olympic flag flutters in the breeze as the Olympic flame burns at the National Stadium at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008.   (AP Photo/Mark D. Baker)

(Newser) – Barack Obama is wielding his clout to try to win the Summer Olympics for Chicago in 2016, which, if you follow the bouncing political ball, could be great news for Hillary Clinton or another lucky Democrat, writes Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com. Here's the logic: The Olympics create a groundswell of patriotism that usually pays off for the president in office. In fact, three of four incumbents won re-election in a landslide when the US hosted the summer Games, notes Silver.

If we make the "major assumption" that Obama wins re-election in 2012, a domestic Olympics "could create nightmares for the GOP," he writes. "The symbolism of Obama, in an Olympic Stadium built just blocks away from his home, bringing the world together and passing the literal and figurative torch to Hillary Clinton or whomever the Democratic nominee might be in 2016 would be extremely powerful, worth tens of millions of dollars in free advertising impressions at a critical phase in the campaign."