Discerning Students:

The Weekly Reader, the national schoolroom newspaper based in Stamford, Conn., released the results of its traditional classroom presidential poll of students in kindergarten through 12th grade on October 25. The outcome: Bush beat Kerry, 65% to 33.4%, with a total of 327,707 ballots cast.

The Weekly Reader poll has correctly predicted the presidential winner in most years since 1956. In 1992, however, it erroneously picked President George H.W. Bush over then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, in a race complicated by the strong third-party showing of Ross Perot. Students cast their ballots in their classrooms, and they were later tabulated by Zogby International. Bush beat Kerry in every grade level except the 10th. Kerry defeated Bush in only one state, Maryland. Additionally, there were dead heats in New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Vermont and the District of Columbia–meaning the kids there may be smarter than their parents.


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