National student online poll has called four elections correctly

National Constitution Center

An online poll taken by millions of American students has forecast four presidential elections correctly. But will it get another election correct next Monday, when the public finds out the results from the OneVote 2012 project?

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Channel One, the education media service, ran the elaborate polls in 1992, 2000, 2004, and 2008, and the middle- and high-school students picked Bill Clinton, George Bush (twice), and Barack Obama correctly.

The students and teachers involved in the OneVote project aren’t taking a simple straw poll.

Students across the country are filling out ballots this week, which are vetted in the classroom by their teachers. The educators file the votes on the OneVote website. Voting ends at 10 p.m. ET on Friday.

A team at OneVote then looks at polling patterns to make sure there aren’t any irregularities.

The final results will be listed at onevote.channelone.com.

It’s unknown if political pollsters and the campaigns will slice and dice the OneVote results like they examine political tracking polls.

But OneVote could be a window into the future of voting, since all the votes are submitted electronically after the students fill our paper ballots (no hanging chads here).

The OneVote project also mimics other institutions in the mainstream voting world. Teams of students work on videos throughout the fall, which classes watch as students prepare to research issues.

The candidates have student “surrogates” who write about their parties, and there will be a post-election spin room where the results are argued about and analyzed.

The results from past elections, though, varied greatly from this year’s election.

For example, in 2000, Bush won the student election with 58.9 percent of the 877,497 middle- and high-school students who voted. The biggest issue to students then was crime and violence.

In 2004, Bush won again with 55 percent out of 1.4 million student votes. He even won Pennsylvania and had a near sweep of the swing states.

In 2008, Obama had a big win with 58.5 percent of the student vote, according to OneVote’s press release. The economy was the biggest issue, followed by the war in Iraq.

Currently, the economy is the biggest issue on students’ minds, based on survey data from OneVote.

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