President Barack Obama is ahead of Mitt Romney both nationwide and in Nevada in 7-Eleven’s Presidential Coffee Cup Poll.Nationwide, Obama is leading 60-40 percent in the poll in which the convenience store chain invites customers to vote by selecting specially marked coffee cups — blue with the president’s likeness for the Democratic Obama or red for the Republican Romney. In Nevada, Obama has an even bigger lead: 63-37 percent.Only in Idaho and West Virginia are Romney cups more popular with customers.Company spokesman Margaret Chabris said in a statement the company has now done its 7-Election promotion for four presidential campaign cycles. She described the poll as “unabashedly unofficial and unscientific,” but a lot of fun for their customers.And the regular “nonpartisan” cups are still available for customers who are undecided.“We have a lot of fun with it and I hope we have encouraged people how important it is to vote in the real election,” said company CEO Joe DePinto.When it comes to the Coffee Cup Poll, Nevada is one of the states where Romney has a disadvantage — his religion. Mormons aren’t supposed to drink hot drinks like coffee or tea and Nevada has a substantial Mormon population. That fact also could help explain why Obama leads 55-45 in the Coffee Cup Poll in heavily Mormon Utah. Professionally done polls show overwhelming support for Romney in that state.While Obama has a statewide lead in the 7-Eleven poll in Nevada, Romney has had more cup customers in Carson City and leads here by 54-46 percent.Employees at the 7-Eleven on Highway 50 said their cups were going fairly quickly but that all the remaining cups there were snapped up by customers on Free Coffee Day two weeks ago.Tammy Alfaro, manager of the 7-Eleven on North Carson Street, said nearly all her store’s cups went on Free Coffee Day as well but there are a few left for anyone still interested in getting one.“It’s a great promotion,” she said.Alfaro said store employees don’t track candidate support as cups are taken. The total is automatically tallied by computer when the UPC code on the cup is scanned by a clerk.In Gardnerville, where Republican-registered voters outnumber Democrats two to one, the national numbers are reversed and Romney leads with 60 percent of the cups chosen by customers.Obama’s numbers were helped by Reno customers who picked his blue cup over Romney’s red cup by a 57-43 percent margin.Obama really pulls away in Las Vegas, where company officials say 65 percent of the cups issued were blue with Romney backers making up just 35 percent.In North Las Vegas, largely blue collar and home to a substantial number of Nevada’s African-American voters, Obama has nearly three-quarters of the cups: 73-27 percent.There are 14 states on the 7-Eleven map where stores aren’t participating in the promotion and one state, New Hampshire, where the two candidates are tied. The rest of the states on the map, which is updated daily, are blue.‘Astounding’ accuracy“While we have never billed 7-Election as scientific or statistically valid, it’s astounding just how accurate this simple count-the-cups poll has been election after election,” said 7-Eleven CEO Joe DePinto. In the 2008 election, 52 percent of the cups went for Obama and 46 percent for John McCain. In the real election, it was 52.9 percent to 45.7 percent.Likewise in 2004, the cup count was 51 percent for George Bush to 49 percent John Kerry. The real vote: 50.7 percent to 48.3 percent.
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