The Checkout

Vote with Your Coffee Cup

Ylan Mui

It's official: There is nowhere left to hide.

Yes, this is Washington, and yes, the presidential election is only 21 days away. But now you can't even buy a cup of coffee or eat a burrito without becoming embroiled in partisan politics.

Convenience store chain 7-Eleven launched its "7-Election" campaign this month. Customers "vote" by choosing which 20-ounce coffee cup they want to use: one with Sen. John McCain's name or one with Sen. Barack Obama's.

As of this morning, here were the standings:
DC: Obama, 83 percent; McCain, 17 percent
MD: Obama, 59 percent; McCain, 41 percent
VA: Obama, 61 percent; McCain, 39 percent.
National: Obama, 59.7 percent, McCain, 40.3 percent
Results are uploaded daily to

Last go-round in 2004, the unscientific poll accurately predicted the winner. According to 7-Eleven, 51 percent of their customers chose George W. Bush cups and only 49 percent picked John Kerry -- nearly mirroring the national results.

Coffee not your preferred voting vehicle? California Tortilla yesterday rolled out the "McCain-Chilada" made with Mexican rice, mesquite chicken, tortilla strips, cheese, salsa and shredded lettuce. It's rolled in a flour tortilla and smothered with green enchilada sauce and topped with sour cream and cilantro. No word on how those calories will affect his health care plan.

To be fair, Obama also gets his own dish, the O-Chili-Bama Burrito. He does have some ingredients that overlap with McCain, such as Mexican rice, tortilla strips, salsa, shredded lettuce and the flour tortilla. But Obama comes with jalapeno peppers and turkey chili.

California Tortilla said it would publish a running tally of "votes" every week. (Hmm, it's probably a good thing vegan Rep. Dennis Kucinich wasn't the nominee. His burrito would've been a hard sell.)

If you're hungry for a more scientific breakdown of how the candidates are doing, check out our PostPolitics polling station for the latest results.

See? Even this blog isn't safe!

By Ylan Mui |  October 14, 2008; 12:00 PM ET Consumer News , Marketing , Ylan Mui
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

well, if this isn't a scientific poll, I don't know what is! :P

Posted by: Regina | October 14, 2008 1:17 PM

This is a great example of how to spend ad dollars in a world where the consumer in control and can weed out boring, interruptive advertising. Give consumers a reason to tune you in, make your advertising a mutually beneficial event, and consumers should reward you with their attention and (hopefully) their business. Kudos to 7 Eleven. If interested, you can read my argument here:

Posted by: Mark McGuire | October 16, 2008 6:29 PM

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