Hamburger poll puts Obama in the lead
Wondering what to eat while watching the final presidential debate tonight? In Cloquet, the choice may be an Obama Burger -- though it may be a little hard to find one because Gordy's Hi-Hat closed for the season Sunday. For 17 days, the restaura...
Wondering what to eat while watching the final presidential debate tonight?
In Cloquet, the choice may be an Obama Burger -- though it may be a little hard to find one because Gordy's Hi-Hat closed for the season Sunday.
For 17 days, the restaurant's patrons could put their votes where their mouths were -- and receive a discount -- by ordering either an Obama cheeseburger or a McCain cheeseburger. The burgers were made in exactly the same way; only the names were different.
"When we took orders, we'd write their vote on the back of each ticket," Gordy's owner Dan Lundquist explained. "At the end of each day, my father, Gordy, would tally up the votes."
The final count -- 57 percent for Sen. Barack Obama and 43 percent for Sen. John McCain -- followed national polling statistics. Lundquist said he wasn't surprised.
"The results could be spun a whole bunch of different ways, of course," he said. "We could say Obama won by a landslide, but then again, considering northern Minnesota is largely known to be Democratic, maybe it could be said that McCain did better than expected."
Or maybe tasted better than expected?
Lundquist said that although his customer base is made up mostly of Carlton County residents, about 45 percent of weekend traffic coming through town is from the Twin Cities, as well as from points farther north.
"So, I think we had a pretty broad base of people voting," he said.
Business spiked after news of the gimmick spread to the blogging world.
"We had an organizer from Obama come in and he wrote about it, and then we found out later it was also written in a blog for McCain," Lundquist said, adding that employees and customers joined the fun by offering their spin.
"The main joke on McCain was that his burger was served on yesterday's crusty, old bun," he said. "The Obama joke went that his burger was merely a bun with no meat in it."
Employee Owen Johnson got in on the action. He "cast his vote" for McCain, although he said he's not fully committed to that decision.
"This poll sparked a lot of informative conversations, which was great," he said. "I was swayed to McCain because of that, but I think I could still be swayed for Obama before the actual election."
Everyone passing through for hunting season ordered McCain burgers, Lundquist said. "They said they couldn't imagine anyone with a gun voting for Obama."
Yet the polling was biased, he acknowledged. For example, only people who ordered cheeseburgers got a vote, leaving fowl-lovers and vegetarians out of the loop. And voter registration
wasn't very strict. Men seemed to order more burgers than women, so they could have voted more than once.
Call them voracious political animals.