Kids Choices: Obama, McCain

The votes were tallied and Barack Obama and John McCain finished atop Nickelodeon’s first-ever kids’ primacy election.

Following the Jan. 13 special Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: The Kids’ Primary, which explained how presidents are elected in the U.S., the primary system, the current candidates, and what it means to be a Democrat or a Republican, kids were encouraged to go online and vote at from Jan. 13-18. Almost 80,000 did with Obama (D.-Ill.) receiving 46,000 of the “Democratic vote,” while McCain (R.-Ariz.) nabbed 24% of the Republican entries. 

The results were announced Jan. 18 on Nick at 8 p.m. (ET/PT), the day before Obama essentially split the Democratic caucuses in Nevada with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney easily took the Republican caucuses in that state, and McCain won the South Carolina primary,

“What better way to explain to kids how the primary system works then to actually hold a primary for them?” said Ellerbee, host and executive producer of Nick News, in a statement. “This year we have given kids a voice early on and allowed them to become part of the election process from the very beginning. I am thrilled to see that so many kids have come out to exercise their right to vote.”

The Kids’ Primary was the first of three specials in Nickelodeon’s "Kids Pick The President" campaign, the network’s year-long initiative aimed at building young citizens’ awareness of the process and issues before the 2008 U.S. presidential election. 

The second special, Kids Pick the Issues, will premiere in March, featuring a discussion with kids about the issues and policies that matter to them. In October special Ellerbee plans to take kids’ questions to the final candidates and the children then will be encouraged to go online and vote for the nation’s next leader.

The campaign specials will also air on Cable in the Classroom (schedule will be announced), which airs Wednesday and Friday mornings at 6:00 a.m. (ET/PT). To complement the "Kids Pick The President" initiative, supplementary materials are available as resources for teachers.