I'm happy to announce an unprecedented politico-horticultural experiment gone mad in divining the eventual winner of a presidential election: Reason's Chia Pet Presidential Predictor™
It has absolutely no basis in reality—or botany—which puts it fully in the mainstream of predictive techniques that typically cost more than twice as much.
Here's the background:
Last week, Reason's DC HQ received complimentary Chia Pet kits featuring busts of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, each emblazoned with the false legend, "Freedom of Choice."
The idea being, I assume, that you can have the head of any potential president's head covered in sprouts as long as it's of the liberal guy who supports the extra-legal use of drones, massive deficit spending, mindless prosecution of the drug war, mass deportation of immigrants, and reduced interest rates for government-sponsored student loans or of the conservative guy who supports the extra-legal use of drones, massive deficit spending, mindless prosecution of the drug war, mass deportation of immigrants, and reduced interest rates for government-sponsored student loans.
Given our libertarian sympathies and plucky DIY spirit, we repurposed an existing Chia Pet head of Abraham Lincoln into a Gary Johnson number by plastering a picture of the Libertarian Party's nominee on the front of the Railsplitter's terra cotta visage. (Why we happened to have an Abe Lincoln Chia Pet in the office is an ineresting but unrelated story that may well end up forming the plot of the next installment in the National Treasure film franchise.)
Last Friday afternoon, we (read: I) prepared the heads according to Chia's instructions and placed them in a makeshift greenhouse on a window sill, firmly convinced that the head with the greatest hair growth come November 6 will signal the eventual winner of the 2012 Election. What this method lacks in say, Scott Rasmussen's proven track record or Nate Silver's sabremetrically inspired weighting formulas, it more than makes up for in sheer simplicity.
We will continue to update the progress of Reason's Chia Pet Presidential Predictor on a daily basis through Election Day next Tuesday, when an official measuring of sprouts (or possibly in the case of the LP's figurehead, buds) will take place via livestream.
Though we should probably add that, just like most of the federal government in Washington, we probably won't be coming into the office tomorrow or Wednesday either. And geez, by then it'll already be Thursday, so we might as well just take the rest of the week off. And then when you think about it, we'll only be what, like two weeks and change from Thanksgiving, and then Christmas is just a month out from then and nobody really gets much done in D.C. during December anyway, so…