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Scientists pick their President

A revealing look at The Scientist's mock election results

Scott Freeman

If scientists ruled the world, then the world would be extremely blue. Mind you not blue as in its mood, but blue as in its political party affiliation. The Scientist's recent mock election showed a clear trend towards Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee. Barack Obama carried a staggering 56% of the total votes while his Republican counterpart, John McCain, only received 39% of the total votes. This is a margin of 17% which is statistically significant.

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Barack Obama
Democratic Party
John McCain
Republican Party
Bob Barr
Libertarian Party
Ralph Nader
Independent Party


As most Americans know all too well, the popular vote doesn't determine the winner of the presidential election. Al Gore actually won the popular vote in 2000, but lost the election due to electoral votes. (For more details Google: +Florida +2000 +"hanging chads")....

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As if the US votes weren't bad enough for John McCain, it turns out that he isn't very well liked outside of the US either. Barack Obama won the international vote winning 86.2% of the total votes compared to 6.9% that John McCain received. A large number of Obama supporters were from Canada, the UK, Italy and Australia. McCain had some support in Brazil, Belgium, and France but not enough to win the international popular vote. John McCain almost lost the international vote to Ralph Nader, who happened to score votes in Canada.

CandidatePct of Total International Votes
Barack Obama86.2%
John McCain6.9%
Ralph Nader6.0%
Bob Barr0.9%

Continuing the concept of "If scientists ruled the world", The Scientist ran a mock election of some of the top biologists to see which biologist would win the popular vote. This race was actually quite close with many lead changes throughout. In the end Craig Venter won a close race against his fellow scientists Stanley Falkow, Rita Colwell, EO Wilson and others. Congratulations on the victory Craig Venter - the next 4 years are all yours!

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1. "Presidential Elections, 1789-2004" Infoplease.© 2000-2008 Pearson Education, publishing as Infoplease.16 Oct. 2008.

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