The votes are in, and Obama has won America’s youth vote in a landslide! No, I don’t mean 18- to 24-year-olds, I’m talking grade school here. Scholastic, that purveyor of books, news, and study aids for children, has tallied the results from just shy of a quarter of a million kids, and Obama beat McCain, 57 percent to 39 percent. So why does that matter? Because since 1940 the results of the student vote in Scholastic’s Election Poll have mirrored the outcome of the general election in all but two cases.
Students got it wrong in 1948 when they supported Dewey over Truman and in 1960 when they weirdly picked old-guy Nixon over Kennedy. So for almost 50 years kids have predicted the eventual winner. Ain’t that precious? Student’s also exercised their right to write in, with Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, and Stephen Colbert all getting votes — but Hillary Clinton out in front with 11 percent of the write-in vote.
Interestingly, despite Hotline’s decision to move Colorado into the Obama column, the kids here apparently don’t agree. 61 percent of young Coloradans voted for McCain, with only 36 percent supporting Obama. I think we can safely assume that Cookie Monster received the remaining 3 percent.
The most important part of all of this, though, is that studies have shown a strong link between kids voting in fake elections like this one before they turn 18 and higher voter efficacy as adults. So vote early and vote often, kids, and don’t forget to bring your ID to the polls!
Colorado Independent’s blogumnist (blogger-columnist) Jeff Bridges has worked in Democratic politics for the last 10 years, serving as communications director for two congressional races in Colorado and two governors races in the Deep South. Bridges also worked as a legislative assistant in Washington, D.C., with a focus on military and small-business issues.