Posted 10-27-2004 at 07:47:17
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"Third time is a charm" or something like that...
Weekly Reader kids select Bush in Presidential Poll
Cameron Mouton, 6, casts his vote for president on an electronic voting screen at the Brooker Elementary School in Palm Harbour, Florida. The kindergarten student participated in Weekly Reader's presidential poll using a touch-screen voting machine – one of the only schools in the nation to do so.
The students who read Weekly Reader’s magazines have made their preference for President known: they want to send President Bush back to the White House.
The results of this year’s Weekly Reader poll have just been announced, and the winner is President Bush. Hundreds of thousands of students participated, giving the Republican President more than 60% of the votes cast and making him a decisive choice over Democratic Senator John Kerry.
Since 1956, Weekly Reader students in grades 1-12 have correctly picked the president, making the Weekly Reader poll one of the most accurate predictors of presidential outcomes in history.
President Bush was a strong winner in the student poll; the only state Senator Kerry won was Maryland. Senator Kerry was also in a statistical dead heat with President Bush in New York, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C. and Vermont. President Bush won most grades, although Senator Kerry did win among tenth-graders.
This year students caught election fever, with an increase of more than 20% in the number of students participating in the Weekly Reader poll than in any prior year. While there were participants from grades K through 12, third- and fourth-graders were the most enthusiastic voters. More than 57,000 students from each of those two grades voted.
The presidential poll, in which teachers collected their students’ votes and forwarded them to an independent polling company to be tabulated, is part of Weekly Reader’s “Promote the Vote” program, created to teach students about the election process, the issues, the candidates, and how democracy works.
“This program teaches students that voting is a privilege and a responsibility,” said Emily Swenson, President of Weekly Reader. “Through this authentic experience, we are hoping students will become advocates and lifelong voters. And even though the election may be over in eight days, the learning will continue.”
As part of the Promote the Vote Program, Weekly Reader will also conduct an essay contest called Write Your Own Acceptance Speech. In this contest, students from grades three through 12 will be asked to write the speech they would give if they were going to be inaugurated as President in January. Contest rules will be posted at the Weekly Reader Website (www.weeklyreader.com) beginning November 8.
To select this year’s presidential poll winner, classrooms across the country submitted ballots, called in results via a toll-free number, or voted online. The results were tabulated by Zogby International, which has been conducting public opinion polls since 1984.