7-Election: Coffee sales predict presidential winner

3:25 PM, Sep 14, 2012   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- It may be unscientific, but 7-Eleven is back with its Presidential Coffee Cup Poll and past results have been surprisingly accurate.

The poll is based on which coffee cups customers use: blue for Barack Obama and red for Mitt Romney. The cups also have the candidate's name printed on them.

In each of the three previous presidential elections, the poll has accurately predicted who will be the next U.S. President.  In fact in 2004 and in 2008, the Coffee Cup Poll was within 1% of the actual results.

University of South Florida Professor of Political Science Dr. Susan MacManus says the sheer size of the net cast by the 7-Eleven poll may partly explain why it's been so accurate.

"You're getting the rural, the suburban and the urban vote and you're getting people of all income levels. But you're partially getting a large number of middle class voters, which of course are the bulk of the electorate," MacManus said.

MacManus adds these presidential predictors all started in hte Weekly Reader, with school kids now picking the correct winner in every presidential election since 1956.

"It's amazing, but children do reflect what they hear at home and we know from a lot of studies when kids first tune into politics, it's to presidential politics around 10 or 11, right about the time you're getting those Weekly Readers in the classroom."

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