Well, the old reliable Weekly Reader poll of the nation’s children gives Barack Obama a decisive victory. Not to be outdone, the Nickelodeon poll also gives the Democrat from Illinois the edge. But do note that the margin of victory in the second poll was much, much closer (and within the margin of error) than the margin in Weekly Reader poll. Indeed, the margin in the Weekly Reader poll was almost laughable in giving Obama 54% of the vote and McCain only 42%. While the Weekly Reader’s bragging rights boast a correct prediction in 12 of the last 13 elections, this particular prediction appears to me to be swept up in a ball of exuberant and youthful enthusiasm--spurred on, I’d venture to guess by reading some of the accompanying commentary, by similarly exuberant teachers talking about the "historic importance" of this election. The Nickelodeon poll--though newer to the game--also boasts an impressive level of accuracy in that it has correctly picked 4 of the last 5 presidents. It, unlike the WR poll that is conducted in the classrooms of America, is an online poll. In that poll McCain was only two points behind Obama.
Since this election year has been all about giving the advantage to the new, the slick, the technologically savvy, and so forth, I’ll go along and say that the Nickelodeon poll is probably a better representation of reality. The question is whether McCain can overcome a 2 point difference in less than a week’s time. For the answer to that question, I guess we’ll have to wait for the ultimate poll--the one in which children are not supposed to participate.