"Get your steaming hot cup of democracy," the website advertises. 7-11 recently launched their fourth 7-Election Presidential Coffee Cup Poll which allows voters to cast their vote for either Obama or Romney by selecting an appropriately themed blue donkey or red elephant cup. For people who wish to remain uninvolved, traditional "nonpartisan" cups are still available.
It's more than just a way to advertise your affiliation. Your vote is cast when you pay for your coffee at the register, and results are posted online. 7-11 describes the poll as "unabashedly unofficial and unscientific," which is certainly fair--extreme coffee lovers and diehard politicos can vote as many times as they want, only 34 states are involved are among the many aspects of this poll that make it more of a marketing campaign than a true political analysis.
That being said, 7-Election results do seem to somewhat mirror actual poll results. General election polls show Obama with a slight (but increasing) lead, and 7-Election has him up as well, albeit by a more significant margin. In North Carolina, a key battleground state, 7-11's results show the two candidates tied. In New Hampshire, where Romney leads by 3 right now, 7-11 has him up by 4. A CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac poll has Obama up by 9 in Florida, and 7-11 has him up by 8. Granted, this could all be a coincidence. A broken clock is right twice a day and if you rely on this as your only source of polling you may be in for a few surprises when election night rolls around.
Related on SmartPlanet:
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com