News / USA

Can a Coffee Cup Pick the Next US President?

Predicting the political future just got a little more fun. (Creative Commons image. Some rights reserved by Valerie Everett.)Predicting the political future just got a little more fun. (Creative Commons image. Some rights reserved by Valerie Everett.)
x
Predicting the political future just got a little more fun. (Creative Commons image. Some rights reserved by Valerie Everett.)
Predicting the political future just got a little more fun. (Creative Commons image. Some rights reserved by Valerie Everett.)
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 winner.

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.

Halloween masks
 
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 percent.
 
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 Carolina Panthers.

Students
 
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
 
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.
 
All 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 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 for both Obama and Romney are gearing up for a legal fight in case this year's election is as close as the official political polls are predicting.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: m m abubakar from: Lagos
November 06, 2012 7:32 AM
Funny as it may sound, there was a time when an octopus was correctly predicting who would win a soccer match.

by: appliance removal from: Louisville
November 06, 2012 1:37 AM
When the president took office I was making over 80K per year. Now I am unemployed and I am working as an independent contract collecting scrap metal. I just wish either one of these candidates would do more to create more jobs in the USA. I am not going to grip about either one because this does not solve anything.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs