As my colleague Rebecca Goldin noted, if you are going to try and divine the outcome of a presidential election, you might as well turn to school children as regression analysis. Over 250,000 school kids cast their “vote” for president in the Scholastic Election Poll, which has only been out of step with adult voters twice since 1940.
Well, the results of this year’s poll are in, and children in grades one to 12 delivered a decisive mock victory to Obama with 57 percent of the vote to John McCain’s 39 percent.
In three swing states, McCain outperformed Obama: Colorado (61 percent versus 36 percent); Indiana (51 percent versus 47 percent); and Missouri (49 percent versus 47 percent).
There were also some notable write-in candidates garnering votes. In a sign that for some, the rift created in the Democratic presidential primaries has not healed, Hillary Clinton reaped the highest number of write-ins (11 percent of the four percent). Others, believing that the task of the president was to teach the world to sing, opted for Miley Cyrus (despite her Vanity Fair photoshoot scandal) and the Jonas Brothers – all three of them.
Of course, the bigger problem with choosing reliable predictors of presidential elections is that the overall sample of presidential elections that can be assessed for uniform predictors is too small to deliver a good indication of reliability.