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Coffee drinkers vote with cups

When it comes to that perfect cup of joe, coffee drinkers have lots of choices: decaf or high-test, cream or black.

McCain or Obama?

With election season in full swing, 7-Eleven stores nationwide are providing coffee lovers with a unique way of campaigning for their favorite presidential candidate -- a styrofoam cup with the nominee's name.

Red for Republican John McCain. Blue for Democrat Barack Obama.

Each time someone buys a cup, the results are logged. The convenience store chain keeps a tally of the votes and posts them online at www.7-election.com.

Dan Quinn, a Porsche mechanic who gets his caffeine fix each morning at a Coral Gables 7-Eleven, says he is boosting McCain's numbers in the unscientific poll.

''I'm a Republican -- always have been,'' said Quinn, 31. ``I don't mind people knowing who I am voting for.''

Since the cup campaign began Oct. 1, Obama is ahead by 18 percentage points nationwide.

If history repeats itself, that's good news for the Democrat. Final cup counts from the past two presidential elections -- Bush vs. Gore and Bush vs. Kerry -- mirrored the outcome of votes cast in the polls.

George Auguste, an Obama supporter who poured his coffee into a blue cup at a North Miami 7-Eleven, hopes that is the case this time around.

''We need a change,'' said Auguste, 52, a Miami-Dade Transit bus driver. ``Obama is the man for that.''

And for those undecided voters, there's no need to feel left out.

The convenience store has plenty of cups for you: white ones with the 7-Eleven logo.

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