If Mitt Romney wants to win Wednesday’s presidential debate, or any of the debates for that matter, he should not wear a green tie.
A trend study from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. — which is hosting the Oct. 22 presidential debate — shows that since 2000, red ties have outnumbered blue ties during presidential debates by a 13 to 5 margin.
During the past 12 years, candidates have chosen steadily brighter ties but have mostly stuck with America’s colors, red and blue. That 12-year trend is a change from earlier decades when candidates wore darker ties with patterns.
After a 12 year hiatus from showing presidential debates on TV, the 1976 debates between Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford were televised nationally. The two men wore red — or mostly red — ties for five out of the six debates, with Carter once sporting a blue tie.
During the only televised debate between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter in 1980, each wore a black patterned tie.
In 2008, both Barack Obama and John McCain each sported red ties with white stripes. Clearly, things turned out better for Obama that year, but a red tie certainly leveled out the playing field for McCain.
An outlier has shown up just once since debates were broadcast on color TV when Bob Dole, the Republican challenger to Bill Clinton in 1996, wore a green tie. We all know how that one turned out.
So, Team Romney: Stick to red and blue ties if you know what’s good for you. If the boss is feeling a little crazy, opt for red with a pattern.