7-Eleven conducts its own electoral poll using cups with the candidates' names on them.

Throughout the month of October, 7-Elevens will conduct the third edition of their own electoral poll, using cups with the names of the United States presidential candidates. The customers can choose between plain coffee in a blue cup with Barack Obama's name, coffee with a dash of milk served in a red cup marked with John McCain's name, or decaf, reserved for the independent or undecided cups.

The campaign, under the slogan "Every cup counts!", has been developed since 2000 in around 7,600 7-Elevens in the United States, with headquarters in Dallas, Texas, and serves about a million cups of coffee each day.

In the 2000 edition, the results of the "7-Election" were only one percentage point off of the official numbers that gave George W. Bush the win and left Al Gore defeated. In 2004, the polls were quite accurate again, since the amount of customers that preferred the Bush cups out-numbered those that decided on the cups for Senator John Kerry.

More cups for Obama

At the moment, the cup counts coincide with the latest public opinion polls and place Senator Obama as the winner with 58% of the cups that have been purchased. Meanwhile, Arizona Senator McCain has won a mere 42% of cups and only has the majority in West Virginia and New Hampshire. The results are updated at www.7-election.com with the national figures and the breakdowns by state. Additionally, each week USA Today also takes a look at the rates of this peculiar poll.

The political roots of coffee

It's all about having an unofficial way to survey the people with the sole objective of entertainment, argues the chain. The company's President, Joe DePinto, has explained that the 7-Election offers "an interesting daily snapshot of the election." In addition, DePinto has added that the company reminds the population of the importance of voting on Election Day.

Coffee, an impartial drink, has very deep, political roots in the history of the United States. In 1607, Captain John Smith introduced coffee to the country in Virginia. Later, it was considered the national drink after the Boston Tea Party and its rejection of the tea taxes.