Ron Paul would beat New Hampshire front runner Mitt Romney and even President Barack Obama if the state’s fifth and sixth graders were the ones to choose.
In fact, Romney came in fourth in the Kids Primary Thursday, which involved more than 250 grade school voters from schools across state at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.
A strong plurality – 83, in all – gave Paul the nod. Second place Michele Bachman received 63 votes, Herman Cain, 43, and Mitt Romney, who leads in many polls in New Hampshire, just 40. Rick Perry received 10 votes and other candidates were in the single digits. Students, who had the option of voting Democratic, gave President Barack Obama 39 votes.
Students from schools in Manchester, Nashua, Derry, Pembroke, Gorham, Jaffrey and Somersworth took part in the event, where they learned about the first-in-the-nation primary from Secretary of State Bill Gardner and Gov. John Lynch.
Photos of Governor Lynch and Secretary Gardner are available on the Saint Anselm College Flickr site.
Here's a sampling of the coverage:
The New York Times (The Caucus): And the Winner in New Hampshire Is …
The votes are in in the first-in-the-nation primary state — at least the votes among 250 fifth and sixth graders from across New Hampshire who voted in the Kids Primary conducted by the Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College in Manchester.
Their choice? Ron Paul, who beat out all the Republican candidates as well as President Obama.
Perhaps Mr. Paul’s victory in this setting should come as no surprise – what 10 or 11-year-old child wouldn’t like his libertarian (“I’m NOT the boss of you!”) message?
Union Leader: Paul is kids' choice in presidential straw poll
Gov. John Lynch headlined the event for elementary school kids, which was moderated by WMUR anchor Tom Griffith and featured N.H. Secretary of State Bill Gardner.
“Remember, there is no right or wrong answer in who you select,” said Griffith. “You as the next generation of voters will have that same opportunity, and that same responsibility to look over the candidates and make educated decisions about who you think would be the best.”
Lynch spoke to the importance of the New Hampshire primary, saying that in other states people only see the candidates on television or at super-sized events. “In New Hampshire you get to meet them in small groups, and I'm convinced it makes (them) better candidates. I'm also convinced it makes them better presidents, because it forces them to connect with real people.”
Politico: Kids for Ron Paul
We wrote earlier this week about the fading youth enthusiasm for Obama — among the under-16 set, that is. And new poll of pre-teen New Hampshire students offers some unscientific support for the anecdotes we've been hearing.
Also, the kids' new apparent favorite? Ron Paul.