7-Eleven's Presidential 7-Election Returns; Free Coffee on Friday, September 28 | Clean Plate Charlie | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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7-Eleven's Presidential 7-Election Returns; Free Coffee on Friday, September 28

7-Eleven is no stranger to clever marketing schemes, but their 7-Election campaign -- which kicked off earlier this month -- is, like, genius level selling. Now through Election Day (Tuesday, November 6) cast your vote by spending money while a subsidiary tallies the election; just like in real life!

The 7-Election calculates "votes" for the next president by tracking how many customers choose specially-marked coffee cups; blue for Barack Obama and red for Mitt Romney. You can go the "nonpartisan" route and grab an unmarked cup, but that can't possibly lead to a yelling match about Planned Parenthood and Ayn Rand with your co-worker, and where's the fun in that?

The Slurpee kings make no bones about the scientific and statistical flaws in their system, but in the land of hanging chads and voter purges, who are we to judge their methodology? Joe DePinto, president and CEO of 7-Eleven, Inc., said "it is astounding just how accurate this simple count-the-cups poll has been - election after election." Looking at past results, his statement is not untrue. In 2000 and 2004, more consumers opted for George W. Bush cups than either Al Gore or John Kerry. And in 2008, Obama took 52 percent of cup votes while John McCain got 46 percent; the actual votes were 52.9 and 45.7 percent, respectively.

As of Friday, the results showed Obama leading with 58 percent of the all-important coffee cup contingency and Romney trailing at 42 percent. In Florida, the race was a touch closer, with 54 percent going to Obama and 46 percent to Romney. The figures are updated daily (see figure below).

Don't care about the results for a pretend election? 7-Eleven, which has teamed with news satirists The Onion for the 7-Election promo, may force your hand with CofFREE Day planned for Friday, September 28. Between 6 and 10 a.m., cast your vote (or get a lame nonpartisan cup) and score a free large cup of coffee. Democracy! USA!

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Tricia Woolfenden

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