Romney Wins…At Least in East Hampton

Dan’s Papers goes to the printer on Tuesday around 6 p.m., so, since the polls close at 9, we cannot tell you who won the presidential election in this issue with any great accuracy. Of course, we could PRETEND that we knew and take a chance (see DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN), but it did occur to us that by the time you read this on Thursday it would not be like, oh boy, I’ve been waiting to find out who our president is. Thank God for Dan’s Papers.

What we can tell you at this juncture, however, is that Mitt Romney handily defeated Barack Obama in the “cup” race held every four years at the Monogram Shop on Newtown Lane in East Hampton.

This race went on for as long as the two candidates ran for president because, once the battle began, the owner of the Monogram Shop immediately began selling frosted plastic drinking cups with either the name ROMNEY on them in red (RYAN was added later), or the names OBAMA BIDEN on them in blue. People would come in, buy some of one or the other of the cups and the owner would chalk up how many were sold and put the totals in a notebook and on a sign in the window.

Four years ago, OBAMA beat McCAIN at the Monogram Shop. Four years before that, BUSH beat KERRY and these totals were dutifully reported in this newspaper. The Monogram Shop, as an indicator of which way the wind is blowing, has never been wrong.

I thought the most interesting way to present the current cup purchase results (they are $3 a cup), is to look at the different time periods to see how the cup sales were going in those intervals.

By August 24, Romney was ahead 55% to 45%. A total of 4,578 cups were sold after the cups came in on May 23.

A count was made of the cups sold between August 24 and September 9, a few days after the Democratic Convention. One would have expected, in this period, for Obama to get a bounce in the cup polls, as the DNC was at the forefront of everyone’s mind. During this period, Romney cups accounted for 54% of the cup sales and Obama cups, 46%, a minor swing in Obama’s favor when compared to the time between May 23 and August 24.

The next time we looked in the window was October 3. Following Obama’s triumphant convention speech and the many days that followed, one might have expected to see a rise in the number of Obama cups sold during this period. But the survey between September 9 and October 3 did not show it. In this interval, East Hamptonites were not impressed. It was still Romney 54% and Obama 46% in the cup department.

What was the deal here with Romney leading with such a large margin? On the surface it seemed hard to explain, but then if you

thought about it, it didn’t. Who buys these cups anyway? It’s not likely going to be the locals whose houses have a little bit of this and a little bit of that. It’s more likely to be the wealthy summer visitors. Everything in their summer house is “just so.” If one of the house- and-garden magazines were to come in to take photos of these interiors, the hosts would just have to straighten out a pillow or two. They are ready. The wealthy are for Romney. And they are just so much more likely to buy cups. I mean—plastic cups for $3 EACH? Where we locals come from it’s $3 a SLEEVE.

Okay, time to move along.

The next peek in the window came October 16. Romney had wiped the floor with Obama in the first debate on October 3. The results in this interval showed it. It was 67% for Romney and 33% for Obama. With the totals since the beginning at 5,278 cups for Romney and 4,308 for Obama, it was fair to say that Obama winning this at the end, with the time left, was probably not going to happen.

Now we come to our next peek, which was on November 1. The two debates that Obama had won (by smaller margins) had taken place. Perhaps Obama won at least this interval. Well, he didn’t. Obama got whacked again. It was a total triumph for Romney during the period of October 16 to November 1. It was Romney’s 77% to Obama’s 23%.

Well, there you have it. Romney taking the lead early, then pulling away and then skyrocketing ahead to Election Day even after the last two debates. There were more than 10,000 cups sold. Nearly 6,000 of them, all together, say ROMNEY on them here in the Hamptons.

Had the Monogram Shop bought equal amounts of them? If they did, after Election Day they will have an overstock sale of OBAMA cups. But if Obama has won the actual election, they can sell the cups for years to come.

Either way, it’s a win-win for The Monogram Shop.

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