Growing voter apathy has long been a worry for politicians, so what better way to appeal to the disaffected - and to the collective sweet tooth of the US electorate - than to decide the presidential election outcome on the number of cookies people buy?

Bakery association Retail Bakers of America (RBA) has organised a poll whereby participating bakers tot up the number of election-themed cookies sold. They can then give a running total as a barometer of how the Republicans and Democrats are faring in the run-up to November’s election.

"It reflects people’s concerns right now," said Rose Wilcox, co-owner of the appropriately named Phatso’s Bakery in Chester, Pennsylvania, commenting on the presidential cookies (possibly overlooking the near meltdown of the American economy).

The results in so far from participating bakeries who have sent in their totals show the Democrats way out in front.

Unfortunately, cookies are not about to replace the ballot card any time soon (though we’d encourage the RBA to keep on lobbying).