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Masked revelers prefer Bush
Get this one: Halloween mask sales predictor says incumbent will beat Kerry in November.
September 21, 2004: 12:24 PM EDT
By Parija Bhatnagar, CNN/Money staff writer

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Forget about the guesswork from the political pundits and ignore all those election polls.

The real key to predicting the outcome of the presidential election is this year's face-off of the Halloween masks.

It's as unscientific as it gets, but the theory, according to some people in the costume business, is that the winner in every election since 1980 has been the candidate whose masks were most popular on Halloween.

So far this year, Bush masks have been outselling those of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry by a 57 percent to 43 percent margin, according to one outfit, BuyCostumes.com, the online arm of Wisconsin-based costume marketer Buyseasons Inc.

BuyCostumes.com says Halloween sales figures from manufacturers, national store chains and its own efforts have accurately picked the last six presidential elections.

So does this mean W. gets a second term in office?

"It hasn't failed us yet," Daniel Haight, chief operating officer at Buyseasons, said in an interview. "The masks are a great way for people to express their political leanings at a Halloween party or at a political gathering."

Haight declined to disclose just how many Bush and Kerry masks the company has sold so far, saying only that several thousand had been sold of each candidate.

The company's most popular presidential mask? That of former president Ronald Reagan in 1984, Haight said.

"Bill Clinton masks are still very popular and masks of Bush cabinet members such as Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell are also gaining popularity."

"As a company, we're neutral in terms of affiliation," Haight said. "We're just having lots of fun with the mask predictor. We're not here to influence people one way or the other on how to vote. We want the customer to influence the outcome through their wallets."  Top of page




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