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Who Are Your Kids 'Voting' For?

Their votes may not count yet, but plenty of kids are casting ballots for president. First came the results of Scholastic's youth vote last week in which Sen. Barack Obama won by a large margin (57 percent for Obama, 39 percent for Sen. John McCain and 4 percent for others.)

This week, the results of Nickelodeon's Kids Pick the President are tallied. And again, Obama wins, though by a smaller margin of 51 percent to 49 percent [Note: An earlier version of this blog gave an incorrect percent to McCain]. More than 2 million kids voted in Nickelodeon's poll; about 250,000 cast ballots in Scholastic's election.

On Nickelodeon's election message board, kids have been expressing their views and reminding each other to think for themselves, not just mimic their parents. Here's a sampling of their views:

* MCCAIN RULES: McCain has lots of smart ideas! So does Obama! But McCains are going to make our country better!!!!!! But Obamas might help the country!!!! So vote McCain!!!!:) -- elvisrox2


* WAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!: Right now my dad and my older brother are on the front line fighting. Obama wants to bring them home while McCain wants to keep them there. I love my dad and my big bro more then any one else and I want then to come home. PLease, dont vote for McCain. If you do my dad and bro might never come home. PLEASE do whats right. -- tolkien1

* McCain rules don't ya think?: McCain should win this whole thing who cares if he is another bush at least hes better than that Obama who is with me!!!??? -- dana332

* Not about the coolness people think about change!!!:

"Obama is so cool!"
"No Mcain rocks"

I here this all day at school,soccer, and even at band! You see, no one is thinking about what they're going to do to change the world. It is all abut who is cooler than who and who has the cooler clothes! PEOPLE! THEY WILL BE PRESIDENT FOR 4 YEARS THERE IS A WAR IN IRAQ! PEOPLE ARE LOSING THEIR HOUSES BECAUSE THEY CANT PAY TEIR MORTGAGE! okay now i want you to post who u want to be pesident and why! dont tell me because they rock i want to know a reason -- pickobama2

* Reasons McCain is ready to lead:
-Ready to put his country first, as he did when he joined the Army
-Makes health care accessible for more Americans
-Is ready to withdraw troops, but slowly so the terrorists won't be able to come back to power
-Knows how to get through tough times -- dillboy22

What are your kids and their friends saying about the candidates? Are their opinions mirroring yours or are they forming their own impressions?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  October 22, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Newsmakers
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Comments


DS (6) tells us he's voting for "the guy who's not John McCain...what's his name?" because "he has a plan...I saw a commercial".

Posted by: baskin1 | October 22, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

When I was in 3rd grade I remember my class holding a mock election. As 9 year old we knew nothing about politics and prtty much "voted" the way our parents did. It ended up being Reagan: 18; Mondale: 2. That was my first memory of rooting for the losing team:)

Oh, how far we have come.

Posted by: amybc29 | October 22, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

My daughter is very excited about this election, but she's pretty much just channeling my mom. The fun was the car ride when she came out with "McCain is a moron!" But when we asked why, she wasn't able to give any kind of reason, other than "because Grandma said so!" So we had a little talk about learning what the candidates stand for and making up your own mind, instead of just spouting off what someone tells you.

Posted by: laura33 | October 22, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Of course my kids mirror my political perspectives. They know what side on which their bread is buttered, and pretty much know what to say and do to milk every available dollar from Daddy, the cash cow.

Weasels!

But some days, I get my money's worth back in the family entertainment arena. The most hilarious political analysis I heard this year came from my 1st grader, "Dad, Obama wants to put tacks on rich people. Will he stick you with tacks too? Ouch, that will hurt!"

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | October 22, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure I'll get flamed for this here in WaPo liberal land, but what the hell...

DS#1 (6yo) asked quite seriously why we were supporting Sen. McCain for president. That's not a difficult question for us to answer in general - the problem is in providing an answer a 6yo can really understand. DH saved the day with the following:

DS, do you remember when you earned $1 by helping Mommy carry all those things to the basement? And remember how you brother could also have earned $1 but he chose to watch TV instead? Well Sen. Obama would make you give fifty cents of your dollar - HALF of what you worked hard for - to your brother, who did nothing to earn it. Sen. McCain, on the other hand, would probably make you give up 30 cents, but would also make it easier for Mommy and Daddy to pay you $1.50 next time instead of $1.

Posted by: twoterrificboys | October 22, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Oldest DD (19) has already cast her absentee ballot for Obama. Her main reasons are the war in Iraq, and her concern about the economy.

Son (17) would vote for McCain if he were a month older - he doesn't turn 18 until December. His main reasons are not believing that Obama has a real health care plan, and concerns about Obama supporting his party 97% of the time. "Lack of independence" there.

Middle DD supports McCain; youngest DD supports Obama, for a variety of reasons.

I'm very pleased! We've always taught them that they should support and vote for whomever they want; they just have to have a reason (and NOT that somebody's "cool.") They seem to be doing that - they can all intelligently discuss the issues.

(Oops, sorry - it appears that I've violated OP rule #1, "We do not brag about our unremarkable children." I'm bragging. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.)

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | October 22, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

ArmyBrat - FWIW, I think your kids ARE pretty remarkable! They appear to have actually thought about the issues rather than blindly joining the liberal cult of personality or the conservative "morals" wagon as so many of their peers have.

Posted by: twoterrificboys | October 22, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"DS, do you remember when you earned $1 by helping Mommy carry all those things to the basement? And remember how you brother could also have earned $1 but he chose to watch TV instead? Well Sen. Obama would make you give fifty cents of your dollar - HALF of what you worked hard for - to your brother, who did nothing to earn it. Sen. McCain, on the other hand, would probably make you give up 30 cents, but would also make it easier for Mommy and Daddy to pay you $1.50 next time instead of $1."

Make sure you also let him know that Sen. McCain will help pay for your next trip to the doctor by 'borrowing' 70 cents from Grandma and Grandpa. And he'll also make sure Mommy and Daddy's money from work goes to the stock market, so that you can help pay for them in their old age.

Posted by: MeinDC2 | October 22, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Maybe these kids should think about which candidate will improve their schools, since their writing is pretty abysmal. I know, it's online shorthand, but it still grates.

My son (age 4) has been saying vote for McCain, but I think that's just because of TV and the name is easier for him to say. He's probably also hearing it at preschool from the kid whose mom has a bumper sticker that says "Lipstick Republican" and wears pink Palin t-shrits.

Posted by: MPAmom | October 22, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

My kids are confused by some of the nasty radio ads they're hearing on their pop music station. I'm spending more time defending both candidates as good men who want the best for this country despite what the radio says. So I tell them to pay attention to who has the best ideas. But I resent having to explain about ugly radio ads (haven't seen the TV ads). This encourages democratic participation?! Ugh.

Posted by: annenh | October 22, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Funny, twoterrficboys, I also simplified things to talk to my two sons, ages 7 and 5, about the election.

I talked to them about all the things they have, all the toys, and the clothes, our comfortable home and plenty of food. Then I reminded them about how some children do not have those things. Some children can't even go to the doctor for medicine when they get sick, because their parents can't pay for a doctor.

They agreed, wholeheartedly, that it was only right for people who have more to help those who have less.

I guess we just have different ideas about what lessons are important for children to learn at an early age.

Posted by: somethingtosay2 | October 22, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

DH and I are "political junkies". Older son, 16, is so disinterested he apparently doesn't even know the names of the major party candidates. Younger son, 11, is a true-blue Obama supporter.

Neither of them are following our examples. I haven't voted for a major party candidate since 1980 - only 3rd party. DH broke his string of 3rd party votes in 1996, but has been dis'ing the Republicrats/Democans since then.

Posted by: SueMc | October 22, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

There is a typo in your article. It should be Obama 51/McCain 49. You have it as 51/42.. Don't you guys have editors? How can you get the main point of the article wrong?

Posted by: lp-ct | October 22, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"Funny, twoterrficboys, I also simplified things to talk to my two sons, ages 7 and 5, about the election.

I talked to them about all the things they have, all the toys, and the clothes, our comfortable home and plenty of food. Then I reminded them about how some children do not have those things. Some children can't even go to the doctor for medicine when they get sick, because their parents can't pay for a doctor.

They agreed, wholeheartedly, that it was only right for people who have more to help those who have less.

I guess we just have different ideas about what lessons are important for children to learn at an early age.

Posted by: somethingtosay2 | October 22, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse"

That's brilliant, make McCain sound like he'd rather kick the poor than help them. Good strategy there: make Republicans sound like monsters so your kids grow up with biases based on nothing but your hatred and fantasy.
Great plan.

Posted by: falltillfly | October 23, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

fr falltillfly:

>That's brilliant, make McCain sound like he'd rather kick the poor than help them. Good strategy there: make Republicans sound like monsters so your kids grow up with biases based on nothing but your hatred and fantasy....

No, it's not "hatred and fantasy", it's the truth. I don't want anyone as geographically "challenged" as pwecious widdle sawah anywhere NEAR the White House unless she's on a group tour that she had to pay for. She is virulently anti-gay and anti-choice.

Posted by: Alex511 | October 23, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

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