March 19, 2009

"First Dogs: American Presidents and Their Pets" is on display at the Newseum through May 15, 2009

First Dogs' Poll

WASHINGTON — Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon B. Johnson both owned mutts, but will the next First Dog be as humble? If the choice were left to Newseum visitors, the answer would be yes. A shelter dog is winning the museum’s "Presidential Pooch" poll, paws-down.

Since voting began in mid-November 2008, 29,319 votes have been cast in the election — part of the Newseum exhibit "First Dogs: American Presidents and Their Pets." On display until May 15, 2009, the exhibit features endearing photographs of nearly two dozen U.S. presidents with their furry friends, as well as the special canine election.

After Barack Obama promised his daughters a puppy during his victory speech in November, journalists seized on the story of the next First Dog. Newseum staffers decided to give visitors a say in the matter. According to the poll, they overwhelmingly prefer an adoption: The shelter dog has won 53 percent of the vote.

Shelter Dog15,440
Bichon Frisé5,191
Wheaten Terrier3,776
Miniature Schnauzer2,064
Chinese Crested1,146
Tally as of March 19, 2009

The election will continue until the new pet is in the White House. Please check back weekly for the latest tally.

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