This link is over on Fark.com, and there’s no shortage of partisan opinions, but no real answer to my question. First the link:
from that particular article:
the results of the student vote have mirrored the outcome of the general election all but twice: In 1948, kids voted for Thomas E. Dewey over Harry S. Truman. In 1960, more students voted for Richard M. Nixon than for John F. Kennedy.
This is pretty interesting to me. Somehow, the Scholastic Poll managed to mirror the failed phone poll that also predicted Dewey would defeat Truman. Wonder how that came about. Just a coincidence, or something the same in the two polls? But what?
Then there’s the 1960 poll, which predicted Nixon, over JFK, when many pundits said was won by JFK’s good looks on the televised interview – so what’s that about, kids weren’t affected by JFK youthful good looks, and they liked scary unshaven Nixon? That seems counter-intuitive to me.
Anyway, it might just simply be coincidence, but lots of people in the Fark.com discussion page are giving lots of credence to this poll of school kids. The good track record seems to mirror national trends, the guess is, the kids are hearing what their parents are really saying in their own homes, whereas people are a bit biased, or self-editing at least, when talking to pollsters. But if anyone has a guess as to the two cases above, I’d like to hear them.