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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs