Politics Are Brewing at 7-Eleven

Fourth 7-Election presidential coffee cup poll gets underway.

7-Eleven is announcing its fourth 7-Election presidential coffee cup poll, where customers vote by buying a cup that represents their preferred candiate.

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 starts really early —September.

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.

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.

“Each day, almost seven million Americans visit our neighborhood stores on their way to work, after school or while they’re out and about. Around one 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 have encouraged people how important it is to vote in the real election.”

7-Eleven has added several new elements to perk up the company’s 2012 campaign including its second annual CofFREE Day, Friday, Sept. 28. As a nod to National Coffee Day (officially on Saturday, Sept. 29), which occurs during the 7-Election campaign, 7-Eleven encourages people to stop by stores and vote their choices.

Between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. that day, customers can vote by selecting a free large cup of coffee in their preferred blue or red cup. During that same time period, nonpartisan large-size 7-Eleven cups also are available for free. This is the first CofFREE Day held during 7-Election, and voter turnout is expected to be strong—as is the coffee.

New this year, 7-Eleven has partnered with The Onion, a popular, Peabody award-winning news satire organization, to help get out the vote. The retailer is sponsoring The Onion’s “War for the White House” news coverage, which includes four exclusive news vignettes that can be seen on Onion News and the 7-Election Website.

Also, a special “Mobile Oval” political party bus featuring a mini-presidential Oval Office on wheels will be traversing the country from Friday, Sept. 28, through Election Day, Nov 6. The very-visible vehicle will make multiple campaign stops, with the 7-Eleven grassroots team offering free coffee samples, handing out coupons and taking photos of visitors in the Mobile Oval or with their favorite candidate. Tweets from the road will appear on Twitter (#mobileoval), and a map highlighting the bus route will be updated regularly on the 7-Election Website.

Other elements of 2012 7-Election include a grassroots-on-wheels campaign. Festooned with backdrops that include life-sized likenesses of each of the two candidates, 7-Eleven sampling buses are serving up both great coffee and photo opportunities with their favorite two-dimensional candidate through Election Day.

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:

2000 Election           7-Election       U.S. Voters  

George W. Bush*    21 percent**    48.4 percent

Al Gore                     20 percent**   47.9 percent


2004 Election

George W. Bush*    51 percent    50.7 percent

John Kerry             49 percent     48.3 percent


2008 Election

John McCain       46 percent     45.7 percent

Barack Obama*  52 percent   52.9 percent



**In the 2000 7-Election, all cup sales, including unmarked “nonpartisan” cups, were tallied. In subsequent years, only the candidate cups were included in the results.


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