Weighting the presidential race: Skinnies for Obama, chubbies for McCain

Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald offers up the weirdest presidential election prognostication you’re likely to read all week: overweight voters prefer McCain by a wide margin.

There is a substantial, if imperfect, correlation between a map of the obese and overweight in the United States and maps of polling for the presidential race on websites such as RealClear Politics.

Of the 10 fattest states, nine show strong support for the Republican nominee, John McCain, with only Michigan — once considered a battleground state, but recently abandoned by McCain’s campaign — as the exception.

Of the 10 least obese and overweight states, eight support the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama, although Colorado, where Obama is ahead by four points, is still considered a toss-up. The exceptions are the conservative mountain states of Utah and Montana.

The bigger picture reinforces this story. In the heaviest half of the 50 states, polls in 68 per cent show support for McCain. Of the lightest half of the states, plus the District of Columbia, 84 per cent are for Obama.

I can’t say I’ve ever read a poll that correlated body mass with voting proclivities but we are headlong into the silly season. Paging Mr. Zogby?

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Wendy Norris

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