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LI shop owner says election ‘cup count’ has never been wrong

Valerie Smith, owner of The Monogram Shop in

Valerie Smith, owner of The Monogram Shop in East Hampton, sells cups emblazoned with the logos of presidential candidates and keeps count of how many are sold. She said her "cup count" has correctly predicted every election since 2004. Credit: Valerie Smith

If monogrammed novelty cup sales are any indication, the country could be welcoming a President Clinton come November, but it’s a tight race.

It’s an unscientific method, but Valerie Smith, owner of The Monogram Shop in East Hampton, said her store’s cup count has never been wrong.

They’ve sold plastic cups emblazoned with logos for major candidates during every presidential election since 2004, when George W. Bush defeated John Kerry in both votes and cup sales.

And this year, the latest numbers have Hillary Clinton poised for the win, Smith said. As of Thursday evening, Clinton cup sales were at 1,580 while Donald Trump trailed at 1,522.

Clinton’s lead is relatively new, however.

“We started counting in April when it was finally clear Trump had prevailed and I ordered the Trump cups,” Smith said. “He had consistently been ahead since then until the 17th of July, when they were even, and since then Hillary has pulled ahead by maybe 30 cups.”

The cups are displayed in the front window with signs showing the updated numbers each day. The store also posts almost daily on Instagram to show who’s in the lead.

There’s still time for Trump, she said — the shop just got in the latest shipment of Trump cups, this time featuring his joint logo with running mate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

Smith said they began selling election-themed cups in September. She initially put out cups with Marco Rubio, Clinton and Jeb Bush logos, “just to throw spaghetti at the wall.”

Early on, Clinton and even Rubio were selling well. However, the Bush cups did about as well as his poll numbers.

“I have a whole closet full of Jeb cups,” Smith said.

But the best seller of all is the merchandise supporting neither candidate — a cocktail napkin set designed like a mock ballot between Trump and Clinton, with a large check mark next to “neither of the above.”

“Those are wildly popular,” Smith said.


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