Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

Every Little Vote Counts

In something of a kiddie-coup, Barack Obama has swept the non-voting age demographic of children from first through 12th grade in three separate surveys. While none of the indicators from our underage contingent have been perfect, they each have a strong track record of predicting the general election outcome. The Scholastic News election poll, dating back to 1940, has correctly predicted 15 of the past 17 elections. Their only two errors: picking Thomas E. Dewey over Harry S. Truman in 1948, a race even the Chicago Tribune famously got wrong and Richard M. Nixon over John F. Kennedy in 1960 — one of the closest elections in our history.

The Weekly Reader poll has been spot on 12 out of 13 times since its 1956 inception, except in 1992 when the students incorrectly gave George H.W. Bush the win over Bill Clinton. Nickelodeon has picked a winner four out of five times (erroneously choosing John Kerry in 2004); this year it amassed more than 2 million votes, generating some buzz in the actual political world after the Drudge Report highlighted the poll's 51-49 results, to which commenters on electoral projection website respond: can you say desperate?


Obama: 57%
McCain: 39%

Weekly Reader:
Obama: 55%
McCain: 43%

Obama: 51%
McCain: 49%

Overall Prediction: Obama