While the actual presidential election has yet to be decided, Republican candidate Mitt Romney is headed toward a resounding victory over Barack Obama in the “cup” race held every four years at the Monogram Shop in East Hampton.
The race commenced as soon as Romney solidified his spot as the Republican nominee, and the Monogram Shop began selling frosted plastic drinking cups with either ROMNEY TBD 2012 on them in red (RYAN’s name was added later), or OBAMA BIDEN 2012 in blue. Despite polls giving Obama an edge early in the actual election, Romney immediately took the lead in the cup race and never lost it, which does not bode well for President Obama’s chances on Tuesday.
Four years ago, Obama defeated Republican John McCain in the Monogram Shop’s cup race and the general election. Four years before that, George Bush won the cup race against Democrat challenger John Kerry and, of course, he successfully defended his spot in the White House as well. The Monogram Shop has yet to be wrong as an indicator of actual election results.
More than 10,000 cups were sold for $3 each and, as of Monday, November 5, Romney was ahead by 1,415 cups—5,914 to Obama’s 4,499. Monogram Shop owner Valerie Smith said she had sold out of Romney cups, but—revealing her preferred candidate—added “I’m not saying that with any enthusiasm.”
Smith added that she believes the cups don’t quite reflect the amount of support for Obama this year because as Romney’s lead grew in the cup race, his supporters’ enthusiasm grew and they bought even more cups. “It’s human nature,” Smith said, noting that Obama’s supporters became discouraged and bought fewer cups. She said Obama’s supporters also probably still have cups from the 2008 election, but for those who want them, the Monogram Shop has Obama cups available for anyone planning Election Night victory parties.
On Monday, Obama had a small window for tying or beating Romney in the cup race, or at least slimming his lead, but the Republican victory seems clear. The big question remains: Will the Monogram Shop will be right again on Election Day?