Thursday, October 21, 2004

How do Brainy Kids Vote?

In the referenced article, Scholastic took a nationwide poll of over 500,000 children in grades 1 through 8. They were asked how they would vote in the upcoming presidential election. Bush garnered 52%, Kerry got 47%, and the remaining 1% was divided between a few third party candidates and “Mom”.

On the surface, it sounds like some light-hearted fun, increasingly scarce in this year’s election. The surprise is that Scholastic has been performing similar polls since 1940 and has been wrong only twice, both in close elections in 1948 and 1960.

A different poll conducted by Nickelodeon had almost 400,000 children respond, and Kerry came up on top 57% to 43%, clearly a more decisive victory. This poll has been correct in every presidential election since its inception in 1988.

One thing that strikes me is that, among the crowd that reads books (Scholastic is a large publisher of children’s books), Bush came out slightly ahead, and Kerry came out tops among the kids who seem to spend more time in front of the television. Now, there’s an idea that deserves some attention.


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