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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Weekly Reader poll

So President Bush has won the Weekly Reader poll, which has accurately predicted every election since 1956. In the poll, the only state Kerry won was Maryland, with a handful of other East coast states in doubt. Bush took 60 percent of the kids' poll.

Given this, my question is, has the Weekly Reader become another touchpoint in the Red-Blue American divide? I don't think anyone thinks Bush is going to win 49 states and 60 percent of the popular vote -- but it is true that children's choices tend to reflect their parents. So factor these things in: Weekly Reader is more commonly used in rural schools (like Motley Elementary of Motley, Minn., where Reagan received 17 votes, Carter 10 and John Anderson 3 in the 2nd grade poll of 1980 -- and that was only because two kids in our class were named Anderson) than urban ones. Also Democrats do better in polls among singles, Republicans do better among families with kids. (Although Democrats do better among single parents, a constituency not to be discounted.)

Ergo, Weekly Reader readership is likely to be more conservative than the country as a whole. Under this prism, the Weekly Reader poll is about as indicative of America's choice as the first ever New Yorker magazine endorsement of John Kerry last week. The Red-Blue cultures are becoming more distinct.

Or maybe 9-year-old GOP operatives stuffed ballots in lunch boxes while telling the children of felons that they can't vote in the Weekly Reader poll! Calling the Supreme Court. ...