If any “poll” is vulnerable to manipulation, or outright fraud, it’s these food-and-drink surveys in which convenient stores, burger joints and restaurants ask you to “vote” for a candidate by ordering a specific dish or choosing the appropriately colored coffee container. I imagine operatives for well-funded PACs buying homeless people lunch, but only if they order, say, the Mexican Mitt-Loaf Bowl at California Tortilla.
These are the kind of polls that Vladimir Putin could love.
And yet: In a city obsessed with politics and elections, no straw poll goes ignored, no matter how frivolous. Which is why All We Can Eat checked the latest numbers on presidential polls taking place at local and national fueling stations. The results are after the jump.
* 7-Eleven’s “Every Coffee Cup Counts” poll: Nationally, President Obama’s blue cup leads 59 percent to 41 percent over Mitt Romney’s red cup. The lead is wider in Maryland, where the president holds a 65 percent to 35 percent advantage. The Virginia numbers are tighter, however, with Obama leading 58 percent to 42 percent. In the District, it’s a landslide for the incumbent: Obama has 78 percent of the coffee-drinking vote. See the results for all states here.
* BGR: The Burger Joint’s 2012 Presidential Burger competition: The Governor Mitt Romney Burger (a surf-and-turf combo featuring a beef patty topped with lobster and hollandaise) is gaining ground on the President Barack Obama Burger (a patty topped with a Vienna all-beef dog, neon green relish and sport peppers) at the 20-plus restaurants in the burger chain. Last week, the Obama burger had a 146-patty lead, 688-542, which has shrunk to a shade more than 100. The results from this morning show the Obama burger up, 856-754.
BGR founder Mark Bucher notes: “Interestingly, burger sales have somewhat reflected national polls. Following the first presidential debate on Oct. 3, the Romney Burger outsold the Obama Burger 3-1 in daily sales the following day. And after last week’s vice presidential debate, the Obama Burger evened sales against the Romney Burger, but the latter definitively won the week, and is behind overall by just over 100.”
* California Tortilla’s Presidential Burrito Bowls: Since Aug. 13, the Rockville-based chain has been offering burrito bowls for each candidate. As of 3 p.m. today, Obama’s Chicken Teriyaki Luau Bowl (it includes grilled chicken, teriyaki sauce, stir-fry veggies and grilled pineapple, in a nod to the president’s past) is leading Romney’s Mexican Mitt-Loaf Bowl (featuring some of the Republican candidate’s favorite foods, including meatloaf and mashed potatoes), 54 percent to 46 percent.
* The Occidental Grill & Seafood’s cookie contest: Based on recipes that Ann Romney and first lady Michelle Obama submitted to Family Circle magazine, the downtown restaurant is giving away one of each cookie when presenting the check to diners. (Romney’s M&M’s Cookies feature crunchy peanut butter and rolled oats, while the first lady’s White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies include mint-chocolate chips.) Diners then vote for their preferred cookie (which is, presumably, based on the treat and not, say, the candidate’s position on health care). The results since the cookie giveaway started after Labor Day: 55 percent prefer Michelle Obama’s cookie; 43 prefer Ann Romney’s. The rest: undecided.
* Lincoln Restaurant’s drinking game: Lincoln mixologist John Hogan has developed two cocktails — one Republican, one Democrat — to help determine which party has more, ahem, spirit. The Elephant (rhubarb-infused white whiskey, strawberry liqueur, lemon juice and bitters, served in a cocktail glass with a sugar rim) is leading the Donkey (blackberry-infused gin, Earl Grey mint syrup, lemon juice, bitters and soda, served over ice in a Collins glass). But the race is close — 96 to 92 in favor of the Elephant, as of this afternoon.
Finally, don’t forget that Bayou Bakery will be reviving the presidential hot-dog poll that chef-owner David Guas conducted during the Republican and Democratic conventions. During the two weeks prior to the Nov. 6 election, Guas will again sell his POTUS Dog (a Chicago-style all-beef link with minced white onion, yellow mustard, dill pickle spears, tomato slices, pickled sport peppers, sweet pickle relish and celery salt) and his Mitt-chigan Dog (a Michigan-style steamed dog topped with a tomato-based chili, chopped white onions and yellow mustard).
“I heard a lot about Obama and their support, but the hot dog sales told a different story,” Guas e-mailed All We Can Eat about the convention results. “Mitt was ahead. Could it be because everyone likes a good dose of chili [like] you would find on the popular Coney Island-style dog? I have this feeling that it is going to be a tight race, but the hot dogs don’t flip-flop.”