Predicting the outcome of the U.S. presidential election is a tough
business. Political parties, news agencies and pundits have been sifting
through public opinion polls for months, trying to figure out a likely
But no matter how good the calculations, forecasting the future is never
a sure thing. For election observers seeking relief from the traditional
number crunching, there are plenty of alternatives, so long as you have
a sense of humor and a bit of imagination.
7-11 coffee cups
Coffee drinkers who get their caffeine fix at the popular convenience
store 7-Eleven have successfully predicted the presidential winner since
2000. The so-called "7-Election" offers voters, or coffee drinkers in
this case, a chance to support their favorite candidate by choosing
either a blue cup for President Barack Obama or a red cup for Republican
Party challenger Mitt Romney. Regular, "nonpartisan" cups are available
for drinkers who can't make up their mind.
The unapologetically unscientific poll has a few different rules than
the official election. Coffee drinkers can vote as often as they like,
and early voting starts in September. In each of the past three
elections, 7-Eleven says more than six million candidate cups were cast.
Who's winning the coffee vote this year? Obama so far has 59 percent of
the cups, while Romney has 41 percent in the 34 participating states.
Voters who stay up all night watching the results come in on Tuesday
might just have to buy an apolitical cup of coffee to stay awake the day
after the election.
The presidential election falls just days after Halloween, which means
candidate masks are always a popular costume choice for revelers on the
American holiday. The online store BuyCostumes.com says sales of its
paper candidates' masks have accurately forecasted the next president of
the United States since 2000. Again, this poll isn't scientific. The
company's election motto is, "1 mask = 1 vote. This poll can be bought!"
The race is close in the costume poll, but Romney's Republican Party
will be happy to see it has 51 percent of mask sales, while Obama has 49
The Redskins rule
It is football season in the United States, which means millions of
Americans are captivated each Sunday and Monday night watching
heavyweight players battle it out on the field. Come election time, one
football team becomes even more important: the Washington Redskins. The
so-called "Redskins rule" suggests if the team wins its last home game
before Election Day, the incumbent party will have another turn at the
White House. If it loses, the opposition candidate becomes the next
president of the United States.
It sounds ridiculous, but the "rule" has proven true for 17 of the past
18 presidential elections, since 1937. If Obama was watching Sunday
night's game, he might be a little nervous. The Redskins lost to the
American citizens can't vote until they're 18 years old, but that hasn't
stopped young students from choosing their favorite candidate in an
informal ballot held by the children's book publisher, Scholastic.
The Scholastic Student Vote has correctly named the next president in 15
of the past 17 votes, since 1940. This year, the kids have spoken, and
they're saying Obama should stay in office. The Democratic nominee won
51 percent of the votes cast by nearly a quarter-million young people
across the country. Romney won 45 percent of the, while alternative
candidates claimed four percent of the kids' vote.
Astrology isn't a science, but if done well, the reading of celestial
charts can often deliver predictions that seem too true to be chance. If
that's the case, the planets are aligning for Obama, according to a
panel of five astrologists who gathered in New Orleans last May for the
international United Astrology Conference.
Each of the astrologists used different techniques to come up with their
forecast - from reading Indian Vedic charts to studying Aries ingress
charts. They all said the president would have a second term. There are,
of course, astrologists who are reading the candidates' natal charts
differently and predicting a win for Romney.
agree that whoever wins, Election Day and the weeks to follow likely
will be a time of chaos and confusion because Mercury goes retrograde
November 6, the very same day as the vote. Astrologer Susan Miller
writes on her blog that this is not good news.
"I expect legal challenges, calls for recounts, broken voting machines,
and a host of other problems with the ballots," Miller writes, noting
that the last time Mercury was retrograde during a presidential election
was the 2000 contest between George W. Bush and Al Gore.
That election was mired in controversy, with missing ballots, confused
voters and problematic voting machines. Ultimately, the Supreme Court
chose the winner, naming Bush president.
Whether or not you believe in astrology, lawyers and campaign workers
for both Obama and Romney are gearing up for battle in case this year's
election is as close as the official political polls are predicting.