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BY CATHY JETT
Owners of the Virginia Deli in Fredericksburg didn't have to wait until the polls closed on Election Day to know who won.
Their sandwich election, that is.
The clear winner when the restaurant at 101 William St. closed at 4 p.m. Tuesday was the "Blue," a spicy Buffalo grilled-chicken wrap with blue cheese dressing. It was the sandwich stand-in for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
The Blue took 54 percent of the vote compared with 46 percent for the "Red," a red-pepper roast beef wrap with red onions and a drizzle of Russian dressing. It represented Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
"It was really fun," co-owner Linda Freeman said of the presidential sandwich contest. "Some people would say, 'I really like the Red, but I want to vote for Obama.'"
Others, however, sometimes said just the reverse and ordered the Red, she added.
"I think most people voted with their taste buds," Freeman said.
This is the second time the Virginia Deli has held a presidential sandwich election. There were 51 "voters," including two women who stopped by Tuesday to order the Blue after casting their ballots in the real presidential election.
That's fewer customers than took part the last time, when Obama and Biden were running against Republican challengers John McCain and Sarah Palin.
In that "race," the winner was the McPalin, a hearty roast beef and cheddar sandwich served with mushrooms, onions and a tangy bistro sauce on grilled sourdough bread.
It beat out the Obiden--basically a grilled-chicken Caesar sandwich with provolone cheese on toasted garlic-herb sourdough--to win an official spot on the menu by a vote of 62 percent to 38 percent.
Whatever the outcome of the 2012 presidential election, the Blue won the honor of remaining on the deli's menu for the rest of the year--and possibly a bit longer.
"We're debating what to call it," co-owner Allen Freeman said. "Maybe the Buffalo chicken wrap."
Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407