Similar to the other elections, this year, the coffee cup numbers projected almost exactly what the election results were with 60 percent for President Barack Obama and 40 percent for Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
When a person bought coffee from 7-Eleven, they had to choose whether to use the red cup with the Republican nominee or the blue one with the Democratic nominee.
Something else to note is that seven of the participating republican states voted democratic in the 7-Eleven projection, including Utah. Utah showed as blue on the map with a 52 percent Obama projection, but in reality, Utah voters only voted 30 percent for Obama.
Barton Poulson, a behavioral statistics professor, saw these numbers and with his index finger up, said, “I can tell you why that is.”
Poulson said this is because many Republican voters in Utah don’t drink coffee.
Those who affiliate with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are counseled not to drink coffee, which, according to Poulson, probably skewed the numbers.
Even with the coffee factor and the fact that 13 of the 16 states that were not participating in the 7-Eleven numbers have usually voted Republican in past elections, the numbers turned out right on with the election.
The question of how 7-Eleven has been able to predict three presidential elections with something as simple as coffee purchases is anybody’s guess.
By Tiffany Thatcher, Life Editor firstname.lastname@example.org