Every four years, some things happen like clockwork - leap year, the summer and winter Olympic games, U.S. presidential elections, and with it, 7-Eleven®'s 7-Election™ Presidential Coffee Cup Poll.
In past years, millions of everyday Americans have participated in the 7-Election vote as they go about their daily routines. While many states offer early voting that typically begins a few days before Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 6), the 2012 7-Election voting started really early, on Sept. 6.
Billed as unabashedly unofficial and unscientific, 7-Election invites customers to vote by selecting specially marked coffee cups, blue for President Barack Obama and red for former Gov. Mitt Romney. 7-Eleven's regular "nonpartisan" cups are also available for undecided customers or those who would rather not publicize their presidential preference. Patriotic coffee-drinkers can vote at participating 7-Eleven stores as early and as often as they want in the two months leading up to the national election.
Here in Erie County Democratic Party Committee Chairman Leonard R. Lenihan and Republican Party Committee Chairman Nicholas A. Langworthy will share a good-hearted coffee toast with their corresponding cups during the press event.
7-Election cups are instantly tabulated at the register when the sale is made. National, state and major market results will be posted daily on www.7-election.com, a website created especially for the coffee-cup poll. Poll tallies will reflect the percentage of candidate cups sold to date, not including 7-Eleven's regular ("undecided") cups. Participating 7-Eleven stores are encouraged to post their stores' latest race results at the hot beverage islands.
As of this morning, Obama leads Romney nationally by a 58 percent to 45 percent margin. In New York State the current count is Obama 55 percent, Romney 45 percent.
Each day, almost 7 million Americans visit our neighborhood stores on their way to work, after school or while they're out and about. Around 1 million of those purchase a cup of 7-Eleven coffee," said 7-Eleven, Inc. President and CEO Joe DePinto. "While we have never billed 7-Election as scientific or statistically valid, it is astounding just how accurate this simple count-the-cups poll has been - election after election. We have had a lot of fun with it, and I hope we encourage people to vote in the real election."
"This should be a fun and exciting event for our Western New York customers," said Mark Senay, senior director of operations for 7-Eleven stores in the Buffalo and Rochester markets. "We encourage them to vote early and often by selecting their favorite candidate's cup."
Over the past year, 7-Eleven has seen a huge expansion locally through acquisition and conversion of Wilson Farms stores to 7-Elevens, as well as opening of new locations.
Since 2000, 7-Eleven "coffee cup-voters" have successfully predicted the winner in each presidential election giving 7-Election a better track record than some well-known statistically valid polls. Past 7-Election results compared to actual vote tallies were:
7-Eleven customers also will see the return of vanilla-flavored "Purple for the People" Slurpee® drinks at participating 7-Eleven stores, billed as a "peace-maker" beverage to unite the country. During the contentious mid-term 2010 elections, 7-Eleven created the unifying purple drink to symbolically unite the red and blue sides of the political spectrum.
7-Eleven was the first U.S. retailer to offer fresh-brewed coffee in to-go cups back in the mid 1960s. It proved an instant success. Customers liked fixing their coffee the way they wanted it - choosing cup size, regular or decaffeinated, and adding sweeteners and creamers to suit their tastes. Today, 7-Eleven sells more fresh-brewed coffee than anything else - 1 million cups per day. In each of the past 7-Election polls, more than 6 million candidate cups were cast.
While a nonpartisan beverage enjoyed by Democrats and Republicans alike, coffee does have deep political roots in American history. In 1607, Captain John Smith in Virginia introduced coffee in America, and it was named the national beverage by the First Continental Congress after the Boston Tea Party.