Campaign Notebook

Early Balloting: Children Choose President Bush in Scholastic Poll

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It’s official. President Bush won the election.

Huh? Wait a minute—there’s still a week to go.

Actually, Mr. Bush won the children’s election run by Scholastic Inc., the New York City-based educational publisher.

The Republican incumbent received 52 percent of the more than half-million votes from children in grades 1-8. His Democratic rival, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, got 47 percent of the vote announced on Oct. 20.

Some young people mailed in ballots cut out from Scholastic News and Junior Scholastic magazines. Others voted online.

Independent Ralph Nader wasn’t listed on the ballot, though there was an option for “other,” which earned 1 percent of the vote.

“In the early grades, the most popular third-party write-in candidate was ‘Mom,’ ” said Rebecca Bondor, the editor in chief of Scholastic Classroom Magazines.

Those Bush supporters who hope the results are a harbinger of the real election on Nov. 2 may not want to get too excited.

Since it started in 1940, the Scholastic election has missed twice. In 1948, children chose Thomas E. Dewey over Harry S. Truman, and in 1960, they picked Richard M. Nixon over John F. Kennedy.

In 2000, the Scholastic poll was aligned with the ultimate outcome of the presidential race, if not the the popular vote. Mr. Bush beat then-Vice President Al Gore 54 percent to 41 percent in the youth poll.

While Scholastic teaches about the Electoral College, it doesn’t use the state winner-take-all approach in its mock election.

“This is definitely a ‘one citizen, one vote’ approach,” Ms. Bondor said.

Vol. 24, Issue 09, Page 30

Published in Print: October 27, 2004, as Early Balloting: Children Choose President Bush in Scholastic Poll

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