Bringing The World Home To You

© 2023 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
91.5 Chapel Hill 88.9 Manteo 90.9 Rocky Mount 91.1 Welcome 91.9 Fayetteville 90.5 Buxton 94.1 Lumberton 99.9 Southern Pines
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

In Guam, 'Non-Binding Straw Poll' Gives Obama A Commanding Win

The polls in Guam have closed and the results are in.

President Obama managed a big victory, garnering 72 percent of the votes. That's about 23,067 votes compared to 8,443 votes for Gov. Mitt Romney.

Now for the disclaimers: Guam, 6,000 miles and 18 times zones away from California, is a territory of the United States, so their votes don't count. The presidential part of the vote is considered a "non-binding straw poll." But if you believe in bellweathers, listen up.

Here's what R. Todd Thompson of NPR member station KPRG in Guam told us:

"Since 1984, Guam has been conducting a non-binding presidential 'straw poll' on the same date as the presidential election. And each time since 1984, the Guam Straw Poll has correctly predicted who will be the next president.

"Because Guam votes so early and has a perfect track record in picking the winner, Guam is the new bellwether in presidential politics. Traditionally, those seeking an early indication of things to come on Election Day have looked to Dixville Notch, and a couple other tiny New Hampshire towns which vote just past midnight on Election Day and then proceed to count a handful of ballots. However, these early returns have had little predictive value historically.

"Guam, on the other hand, has predicted the presidential winner every time. In fact, the only time Guam arguably got it wrong it still predicted the ultimate winner. In 2000, Guam narrowly favored Bush over Gore. Of course, Bush lost the popular vote nationwide in 2000, but he still managed to become president."

As we reported on Two-Way earlier, in Dixville Notch Romney and Obama tied with five votes a piece. In Hart's Location, the AP reports, Obama won 23 votes to 9.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Stories From This Author