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

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.