Goodbye Q-poll? Halloween sales predict who will be president

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Want to know who is going to win the next presidential election? No need to wait for the next Quinnipiac or Gallup poll.  Instead, check out data on Halloween mask sales!

According to the national chain Spirit Halloween, mask sales have accurately predicted the winning candidate for every election since 1996.

“Our presidential index has proven to be a consistent and accurate predictor of the next president for nearly two decades,” said Spirit CEO and president Steven Silverstein.

In 2012, Obama masks outsold Romney masks by 64 percent to 36; and in 2008, he outsold McCain by 60 percent to 40. In 2004, Bush outsold Kerry by 65 percent to 36; and in 2000 he outsold Gore by 57 percent to 43. The first year that the company started keeping records, Clinton outsold Dole by a whopping 71 percent to 29.

For costume shops and mask manufacturers, there is certainly guesswork involved. Companies tend to order costumes at least a year prior to Halloween, not knowing who will emerge from the primaries.

Seven in 10 Americans celebrate Halloween, and spend nearly $7 billion a year doing so.

According to the National Retail Federation, this year, the most popular adult costumes are anything but political… unless they consider No. 10 on this list, “scary mask/costume”, to include our national leaders.

 Karen Cyphers, PhD, is a public policy researcher, political consultant, and mother to three daughters. She can be reached at