With the presidential election just 14 days away and campaigning reaching fever pitch, one local shop is taking the pulse of Bedford's electorate in a decidedly unofficial—and fun—way.
Mrs. Monogram, a gift shop that specializes in monogrammed gifts for men, women and children in Bedford, has sold over 300 plastic cups labeled "Obama" or "Romney." When owner Kelley Johnston started looking at her inventory of cup sales, she realized she had some interesting numbers to share.
As of Tuesday, 177 Romney cups have been sold; Obama cup-buyers total 81 and there have been 10 "undecided" cup buys.
"I thought it would be interesting to do something around the election, particularly in this geographic area, where the voter registration breaks down roughly one-third Democrat, one-third Republican and a third Independent/non-party," she said. "I think the election deserves a certain amount of hoopla and hope the cups let people express their preferences in a way that's not controversial."
According to the county's 2011 enrollment data, in Bedford there are 3,965 registered Democrats; 3,425 registered Republicans; 434 registered Independents and 2,424 registered voters with no declared party.
The cups sell for $2—with some customers purchasing multiple cups, the sales tallies aren't exactly a scientific study, but more of a "passion indicator," said Johnston.
Johnston updates her tallies regularly and said that until the first presidential debate, Obama and Romney sales were very close.
"After that, Romney sales picked up significantly, and we sold a few undecideds," she said Tuesday, noting it would be interesting to see how the final debate affected cup sales.
Since launching her unofficial "poll" Johnston said she's noticed that 7-11 convenience stores have a "coffee cup" campaign, and Westchester Burger is selling Obama and Romney burgers. Whatever the results of her own poll, Johnston said it's been fun to have the cups cause some buzz in the store.
"Because presidential elections only occur every four years, they generate considerably more excitement, particularly given some of the challenges our country faces," she said.
Click here to read a Patch profile on Mrs. Monogram