While top poll and survey companies such as Gallup, Pew Research and Harris Interactive might think they've got their finger on the pulse of the political consciousness, there may be a better way to predict the presidential outcome.
In North Mankato, at BuyFun.com, you can buy a mask of your favorite presidential candidate. Sales have been brisk. And telling.
"Our mask sales have reflected an interesting pattern lately," said BuyFun 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. Romney sales rose 83 percent, and Obama sales dropped 32 percent."
BuyFun isn't the only costume seller with political masks. They're also not the only ones keeping track. Buycostumes.com has what it calls "The Official Presidential Mask Poll 2012," which features a state-by-state tally of which candidate is winning.
Their website claims their costume counts have correctly predicted the presidential winner since 2000. So far, they've got the Obama/Biden ticket in the lead with 51 percent.
"According to the current mask sales," a press release from Buycostumes.com said, "Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Missouri, Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Iowa and Nevada are swinging their votes toward Obama and Biden, revealing that 60 percent of these swing state constituents are sticking by the current administration."
(For the record, their site, as of Monday afternoon, had Minnesota at 53 percent Romney masks, and 47 percent Obama masks.)
Sobic said it's not just presidential masks that see a spike in sales.
In 2008, BuyFun's "Joe the Plumber" costumes were popular, along with a slight increase in costumes that features pigs with lipstick based on rhetoric from the Sarah Palin campaign.
This big seller this year?
"Big Bird costumes are the hottest political costume theme thus far," Sobic said. "In fact, within just three days following the presidential debate 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.
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