It’s a dead heat in the presidential dining polls, too


Bowled over by the results? California Tortilla's Presidential Burrito Bowl campaign predicts victory for Obama in two swing states. (California Tortilla)

Customers at California Tortilla, the quasi-Mexican chain based in Rockville, have sided with the incumbent in the Presidential Burrito Bowl campaign: Obama’s Chicken Teriyaki Luau Bowl (grilled chicken, teriyaki sauce, stir-fry veggies and grilled pineapple) won at all 33 reporting stores in the chain’s Pennsylvania, Maryland, the District and Virginia region. In a scandal rivaling Florida’s famous hanging chads, the chain is not releasing the vote totals in the contest at this time.

Regardless, this would appear to be good news for Barack Obama. California Tortilla claims its dining poll has successfully predicted the past four presidential elections, dating back to Bill Clinton’s 1996 campaign. In 2008, for instance, spokesman Michael Schaffer says customers favored Obama’s dish 51 percent to 49 percent for John McCain’s. Obama ultimately won the election with more than 52 percent of the popular vote.”Nearly spot-on, no?” Schaffer e-mails.

Then again, perhaps California Tortilla’s customers were merely turned off by the bowl tied to Mitt Romney: the Mexican Mitt-Loaf Bowl, featuring meatloaf and mashed potatoes. (Nothing screams quasi-Mexican like meatloaf.)

There is some hopeful news for the contender, however.

Over at BGR: The Burger Joint, the Lansdowne-based chain with more than 20 outlets, customers favored the Governor Mitt Romney Burger (a surf-and-turf combo featuring a beef patty topped with lobster and hollandaise) over the President Barack Obama Burger (a patty topped with a Vienna all-beef dog, neon green relish and sport peppers) by a narrow margin: 1,797 to 1,.784.

The Obama campaign can take some solace in BGR’s poor track record: In 2008, the chain’s customers preferred the McCain burger “by a good amount,” says spokeswoman Kerry Lynn Bohen. That burger ultimately became the Southwestern (a nine-ounce patty infused with the flavors of chipotle, poblano and onion, served on a black bean salsa and topped with pepper Jack), now a regular option on the BGR menu, she adds.

Both burgers are available through tomorrow, with $1 for each sale going to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

Finally, the president is slamming the contender in 7-Eleven’s Every Coffee Cup Counts poll: Obama’s container leads 59 percent to 41 percent for Romney’s.

Tomorrow, hopefully, we can stop trying to read the tea leaves inside a Luau bowl.

Further reading:

* Which candidate is leading the food and drink polls?

Tim Carman serves as the full-time writer for the Post's Food section and as the $20 Diner for the Weekend section, a double duty that requires he ingest more calories than a draft horse.
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