A Poll You Can Make (Match)Book On

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PORTSMOUTH, N.H., Dec. 29 (UPI) — Here’s a poll Republican presidential candidates may want to make book on — the unscientific matchbook poll at Federal Cigar in Portsmouth, N.H.

The cigar shop has been conducting its matchbook polls for at least 30 years and claims 80 percent of its winners also won in more the traditional voting method, the Boston Herald reported Thursday.

Visitors to the four stores in New Hampshire already cast about 2,000 “votes” – matchbooks tossed into a paper bag with the candidate’s name on it.

Results won’t be announced until just before the Jan. 10 primary, but a sneaky-peak into the bags indicates a two-way race between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s bag was, uh, empty.

“I don’t know who’s in the lead, I cannot say,” said Ben Dickey, general manager of Federal’s flagship store in Portsmouth. “Romney might take it home … or Ron Paul. We shall see.”

Lots of politicians have stopped by the store to shoot the breeze or buy a stogie, the Herald said. But Romney, who doesn’t smoke, isn’t one of them.

“He might,” Dickey said. “You don’t have to smoke to stop by.”

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