This was no Iowa caucus. Nor was it a New Hampshire primary. But if the votes of 710 social studies teachers counted, there would be no need for such politicking. The presidential finalists would be:
Republican Fred Thompson and Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Those are the results of a “presidential primary” sponsored by Pearson, an education publishing company, at the annual meeting late last week in San Deigo of the National Council on the Social Studies. The 710 voting teachers had to pick a party, then got to vote for one candidate. The results showed that if social studies teachers—who are partly responsible for teaching the values of democracy and citizenship to students—are any gauge, the Republican primary field is wide open. Thompson, a former U.S. senator from Tennessee, got 23.2 percent of the vote. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani got 20.5 percent, and rising-star Mike Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas, edged out close rival Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, with 18.9 percent of the vote to Romney’s 16.3 percent.
The Democratic vote showed more of a two-candidate race. Clinton, a U.S. senator from New York, got 41.9 percent of the vote to 34 percent for U.S. Rep. Barack Obama of Illinois. The next closest was former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, with 12.3 percent of the vote.