If kids could vote, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois would be the next President, according to the Scholastic Presidential Election Poll for Kids, which was released today. Obama got 57 percent of the vote to Sen. John McCain’s 39 percent.
Four percent of kids chose to vote for someone else. The poll had the highest percentage of write-in votes ever, with kids overlooking the major party’s nominees to vote for everyone from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to Leonardo DiCaprio to Stephen Colbert to “my dad.”
There doesn’t seem to have been much of a “Sarah Palin” effect - a majority of girls voted for Obama, 57% to 39%. McCain was more competitive among boys, he took 46% of their vote to Obama’s 49%.
Even though most of the participants won’t be able to cast real ballots next month, the Obama and McCain campaigns may want to take a serious look at the results. The non-scientific Scholastic Poll has predicted the winner of the White House in almost every election since 1940. The exceptions came in 1948, when kids picked Thomas Dewey over Harry S. Truman, and in 1960, when they chose Richard Nixon over John F. Kennedy. In 2000, kids voted for George W. Bush, who won a majority in the electoral college, but didn’t win the popular vote.