Children have elected President Barack Obama to a second term, in Nickelodeon’s 2012 Kids Pick the President voting.

President Barack Obama sits down with Nick News with Linda Ellerbee for the “Kids Pick the President: The Candidates.” (Lucky Duck Productions )

 More than half a million votes were cast in the network’s online poll this time around. President Obama received 65% of the vote and former Governor Mitt Romney received 35%, Nickelodeon reported.

Four years ago, a much bigger, franchise record, 2.2 million votes were cast in what Nickelodeon notes is not a scientific poll; Sen. Barack Obama was declared the winner, with 51 percent of the vote to Sen. John McCain’s 49 percent.

 Voting was down because this year, for the first time, Nickelodeon limited voting to one vote per electronic device, in order to “more closely replicate the actual election, and to ensure the results were more authentic,” though kids were able to cast their votes online from Oct. 15-22.

 We won’t know for a couple weeks if this “more authentic” methodology gummed up Nickelodeon’s near-perfect predicting record.

 The special has come to loom large-ish because in some circles (gambling ones, for instance) it’s become a kind of bellweather poll.

 There’s also no telling how voting might have been affected by Romney’s decision to decline to participate in the accompanying “Kids Pick the President” TV special.

 Romney declined to participate by sitting down to be taped answering kids’ questions.

 Only once before has a candidate declined to participate in the TV special.

 Back in ’04, Sen. John Kerry declined to participate. Ironically, that year the kids picked Kerry to win — the only time they got it wrong.

 “It’s important to take note of who won the ‘Kids’ Vote,’ simply because so many kids vote the way their parents will,” Linda Ellerbee, the exec producer and also the special’s host, said back in ’08.