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The Presidential Election and Sports

By Paul Swaney -- November 06, 2012 7:58 AM EST

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In 1910, President William Howard Taft threw out the first pitch of the Washington Senators season. In many ways, this began not only a tradition in Major League Baseball, but also a link between sports and Presidents of the United States. More than 100 years later, Election Day 2012 pits two candidates with strong ties in the sporting world.

For Barack Obama, there is a strong tie to the sport of basketball. His brother-in-law, Craig Robinson, is the head coach of the Oregon State Beavers. Obama has also begun a tradition of completing a bracket for the NCAA basketball tournament, and he hosted British Prime Minister David Cameron during the first round of the tournament in Dayton last season.

Mitt Romney's tie to sports comes from his leadership during the 2002 Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City. Romney is largely credited with turning around the financial success of the games as the President and CEO. Romney would likely lose to Obama in a game of one-on-one, but the Republican candidate did run cross country in high school, so perhaps he could win a long distance race.

Whichever candidate prevails in this Presidential race, we will certainly see them pose with several jerseys and championship teams over the next four years.

Does sports play any role in influencing your decision on Election Day?

Photo by Conrad Klank.

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