TEWKSBURY - There are clear differences between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney. But which one tastes better? Perfecto's Caffe is selling gingerbread cookies decorated to look like President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and tracking the sales of each in an informal poll.
"We try to figure out the motive behind them," said store manager Amy Bustin. "Do people buy the candidate they like, or is it to bite his head off and throw the whole thing in the garbage? We find people usually buy what they support."
Employees say hundreds of the cookies have been sold from their 1900 Main St. location in the past few weeks. Cookie purchases are tracking national polls. Obama is in the lead with 48 percent of the sales over Romney's 46 percent. Like any poll, there's a margin of error. Some bipartisan customers are buying both varieties.
Bustin, a Southern New Hampshire University student and Tewksbury Memorial High School graduate, decorates the cookies.
"We try to give Mitt Romney the long chin and white hair and Obama the big ears, like the political cartoons," she said.
In addition to the candidate cookies, Perfecto's sells shortbread circles bearing each campaign's logo. Getting the red and blue lines of each just right takes practice, Bustin said.
"It's like making pancakes," she said. "The first two always come out a little weird."
There aren't any fiscal policy differences between the two candidates here: Shortbread logo cookies cost $2.09, while the gingerbread politicians cost $2.29, for both Romney and Obama.
Bustin said the cafe often decorates desserts to celebrate upcoming occasions or relevant news events. They've had Halloween cookies recently, and they stocked shark-themed shortbread this summer after Cape Cod beachgoers spotted a Great White. An "I Voted" cookie is planned for Election Day.
The electoral edibles were offered for the first time in 2008. In that presidential race, Bustin said, the Obama cookies outsold the John McCain cookies, matching up with election results.
"We're hoping two-for-two," said Bustin. "If we get it right again, maybe people will start coming back for the Perfecto's prediction."