Student Voters Pick Senator Barack Obama to Win 2008 Presidential Election


With two exceptions poll has mirrored Presidential election outcome since 1940


New York, NY — October 14, 2008 — The votes are in and student voters have spoken: Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama is the winner of the 2008 Scholastic Election Poll, with 57% of the vote over Republican contender Senator John McCain, who received 39% of the student vote. The poll, conducted every four years through Scholastic classroom magazines like Scholastic News® and Junior Scholastic® and online at Scholastic News Online ( is an educational activity that gives children too young to go to the polls themselves the opportunity to cast their vote for President. A quarter of a million students from across the country participated in the Scholastic Election Poll.

Since 1940, the results of the student vote in the Scholastic Election Poll (online voting was added in 2000) have mirrored the outcome of the general election, except twice: in 1948 when students chose Thomas E. Dewey over Harry S. Truman and in 1960 when more students voted for Richard M. Nixon than John F. Kennedy. In 2000, student voters chose George W. Bush, mirroring the Electoral College result but not the result of the popular vote.

Boys favored Obama 49% to 46% for McCain, while girls chose Obama more definitively, 57% to 39%. Rounding out this year’s vote, 4% of students voted for other candidates, the highest percentage of write-in votes in the history of the poll. Student write-ins included Senator Hillary Clinton, Congressman Ron Paul, Independent candidate Ralph Nader, and a handful of votes for television personality Stephen Colbert.

Results from key swing states are as follows:

Colorado McCain 61% Obama 36% Other 3%
Florida McCain 41% Obama 55% Other 4%
Indiana McCain 51% Obama 47% Other 2%
Iowa McCain 48% Obama 49% Other 3%
Michigan McCain 40% Obama 57% Other 3%
Missouri McCain 49% Obama 47% Other 4%
Ohio McCain 47% Obama 51% Other 2%
Pennsylvania McCain 46% Obama 50% Other 4%

"Teachers rely on Scholastic Classroom Magazines and Scholastic News Online for the latest news from the campaign trail and to help students learn about how our nation elects its leaders," said Rebecca Bondor, Editor in Chief, Scholastic Classroom Magazines, a division of Scholastic, the global children’s publishing and media company. "The Scholastic Election Poll is a fun way for students to apply their knowledge of the candidates and the electoral process and to get children excited about politics so they’ll grow up to be well-informed citizens who vote."

Students from across the country voted through mail-in paper ballots found in many of Scholastic’s Classroom Magazines, including Scholastic News® and Junior Scholastic® beginning in September and online at Scholastic News Online ( from August to October 10, 2008.

The Scholastic Election Poll is not based on a scientifically designed sample of the student population. It is designed as an educational activity to encourage student thought and debate, and to give students an opportunity to express their opinions about the 2008 Presidential Election. The respondents are self-selected, based on teachers who want their classes to participate and students who want to participate individually.

Scholastic is a leading publisher of educational magazines with 32 publications for grades PreK-12, reaching over 25 million students and teachers across the country. Teachers rely on these publications to enhance instruction in such subjects as science, reading and language arts, math, social studies, current events, history, geography, world languages, and art. Scholastic News Online (, the magazines' online companion gives teachers, students and parents an additional resource with which to learn about and discuss current events in the classroom and at home.

Please visit for more information about the Election Poll and Scholastic News’ election coverage.

For pictures of students voting in the Scholastic Election Poll and the ballot counting go to


Sarah Trabucchi
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Jennifer Boggs
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