Pucker's pickle poll pips professionals

Reading The Runes
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The Independent US

Eugene "Pucker" O'Grady's "Pickle Poll" proved more precise than those of prominent national pollsters when he predicted Al Gore would top George W Bush in the popular vote.

Eugene "Pucker" O'Grady's "Pickle Poll" proved more precise than those of prominent national pollsters when he predicted Al Gore would top George W Bush in the popular vote.

Each presidential year since 1992, Mr O'Grady chops up a 13cm gherkin into as many pieces as there are candidates. He takes a sliver off for each independent candidate, based on how he thinks they'll do, then measures the balance and cuts it in half, giving the left side to Democrats, the right to Republicans.

After drying it for three days, he counts the seeds and picks his winner. Voters nationally gave Al Gore andGeorge W Bush about 48 per cent of the vote each. Mr Gore held a slight lead.

When Mr O'Grady split his pickle in August, the seeds spelt out a Gore victory: 49.7 per cent to 46.6 per cent for Mr Bush. On the day before the now-historic election, only two polls gave Mr Gore the lead.

Mr O'Grady won't get involved in the controversy brewing over the popular vote versus the electoral college vote. "The pickle doesn't know anything about the electoral college," he said. "After all, it's a pickle." (AP)

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