In a warmup to the real voting next month, a bakery in Rochester, Minn., is counting cookies for a clue about America's choice for president.

Cynthia Daube, owner of Daube's bakery, was given the honor of introducing Michelle Obama at today's rally at the Mayo Civic Center for her husband, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Daube told the crowd that her business is selling Obama and McCain cookies and keeping tally on who is leading the sales race. Those results and those from other bakeries around the country are being sent to the Retail Bakers of America for steady updating.

In 2004, the cookie poll accurately predicted the incumbent president as the victor.

And what are Americans' stomachs saying four years later? Of about 21,000 cookies sold so far, the blue ones with Obama's image have about 57 percent; McCain's red cookies adorned with his face have about 43 percent.

"From your stomachs to God's ears," Michelle Obama said to a cheering Rochester audience. "We have our own batch of Obama cookes to take home ... our girls will love them."

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482