BONN, Germany, 15 August - The Amsterdam-based Institute for Electoral Awareness, a global elections clearinghouse, released the shocking results of a new study today, indicating that Europeans care far less about how the Electoral College works than American analysts had predicted.
Of over 13,000 study participants from 26 European countries, only 7% indicated they "cared" about the Electoral College, down from 43% in 2008. Also, the number of respondents who indicated they "didn't give a shit" about the Electoral College more than doubled, soaring from 17% in 2008 to 41%.
The results are particularly alarming to television news outlets worldwide, who devote thousands of hours of on-air programming to explaining, often in painful detail, the exact method by which the President of the United States is elected. With the quadrennial presidential election just 14 months away, many cable news channels are now faced with the challenge of modifying their schedules to omit the time-consuming explanations of the uniquely American custom's eccentricities, such as why Montana and Wyoming, despite the former being twice as populous as the latter, are both allotted the same number of electoral votes, and how it is possible for a candidate to lose the popular vote but still win the election.
The result's effects are already being felt worldwide, as Wall Street shows the market price of electronic red-and-blue U.S. state maps to have plummeted more than 50% in just four hours.
Reacting to the news, CNN has announced it will replace all 2012 Electoral College-related programming with reruns of Good Times, a popular 1970s sitcom, while MSNBC is holding out hope that a well-timed high profile child kidnapping will fill in the anticipated scheduling gaps. Fox News indicates it will continue to broadcast as scheduled, however the Electoral College will be referred to on-air as the "Pepsi-Cola Selection Committee 2012" as part of a new corporate sponsorship deal.
Several news outlets are challenging the study's results, however. BBC World Service alleges more than 500 responses were discarded during the tallying process. Bryan Jacobson, spokesman for the IEA, indicated that most of the discarded forms were mistakenly mailed to the headquarters of an adult literacy charity in south-east London, where they were distributed to clients as a reading exercise. According to Jacobson, "turn page to continue voting" was the overwhelmingly favorite response amongst this group.