Monogram Goods of Harbor Springs is selling plastic cups emblazoned with either ‘Obama 2008’ or ‘McCain 2008’ and keeping a pulse on the Lake Michigan town’s political climate by showcasing a running tally who is in the lead in their window. Villagers are making sure their daily walk takes them past the boutique’s storefront to see who their neighbors are supporting. “We’ve been selling the cups ever since the Presidential candidates were announced this summer,” says Pat McCarly, an employee of Monogram Goods. The current count has Obama well ahead (394 to 275 as of 10/01/08) although McCarly was quick to add that, “one person did buy 100 Obama cups.” When asked who this customer so thirsty for change was, McCarly is election-booth discreet: “I know, but I won’t tell you.”

The cup race has been close, “pretty much as it has been across the country,” says McCarly.

Laura Arbaugh, the store’s owner, says, “The biggest surprise is that Harbor Springs is traditionally a Republican area.” Before the election,  Arbaugh will travel with the cups to shows in Columbus, Ohio, and Lake Forest, Illinois, where she thinks customers may make the race a little more interesting. When she was asked if the real Presidential Election would mirror the cup sales, Arbaugh didn’t hesitate to answer, “Absolutely.”

Monogram Goods will also monogram your candidate choice on any garment, from T-shirt to sweater to dog collar, so you can suit up comfortably to watch the Vice-Presidential debate at 9:00 P.M. EST this Thursday, October 2. Throwing a debate-night bash? Mix up a few cocktails, and don’t forget your cups.

Monogram Goods, 261 E. Main Street, Harbor Springs, 231-526-7700,