Professional pollsters think they’ve got their finger on the pulse of the nation's presidential preference.
But with Halloween approaching, there may be another way to predict the election outcome: the popularity of Democrat President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney masks.
Sales of both have been brisk at BuyFun.com. And perhaps telling, though it is not known if the masks are being purchased because of candidate preference or scariness.
“Our mask sales have reflected an interesting pattern lately,” said spokeswoman Aleksandra Sobic. “Overall, Obama masks have outsold Romney masks.
"However, whereas in September Obama masks were selling 35 percent more than Romney masks, to date in October, Romney masks are selling 200 percent more than Obama masks."
Another costume seller, Buycostumes.com, has what it calls “The Official Presidential Mask Poll 2012,” which features a state-by-state tally of which candidate is winning. The company's website boasts that its mask sales have correctly predicted the election winner since 2000 when Republican George W. Bush narrowly defeated Democrat Al Gore.
So far, the company said, Obama masks are outselling Romney masks by 51 to 49 percent.
It’s not just presidential masks that spike Halloween costume sales. BuyFun’s “Joe the Plumber” costumes were popular four years ago.
The big seller this election year?
“Big Bird costumes,” Sobic said. “Within just three days following the (first) presidential debate (at which Romney said he'd cut or eliminate the federal subsidy for public television) we sold out of all of our traditional style Big Bird costumes.”
But don’t worry, fellas. They’ve still got plenty of the “Sexy Big Bird” costumes in stock.
Details for this story were provided by The Free Press in Mankato, Minn.