Friday, October 28, 2016

Presidential Mask Election Predictor

POST-GAZETTE - Res Publica
Presidential Mask Election Predictor
by David Trumbull -- October 28, 2016

Fun fact: sales of Hallowe'en masks of presidential candidates have predicted the outcome of every election since 1980 when Reagan masks outsold Carter masks. In every presidential election through 2012, the candidate whose mask sold the most was also the candidate who won the election.

It makes sense. People want to go with a winner. And for all the talk of evil, creepy, and scary things, Hallowe’en masks are at least as much about revealing as concealing. Once a year on October 31 we don fancy dress and walk "the road not taken" (to use a line from Robert Frost, whom we also celebrate this month, on October 23, (see Mass. General Laws, Chapter 6).

Spirit Halloween, the world's largest Halloween retailer, announced on September 29, 2016, that the Trump Masks were outselling Clinton masks. Spirit's Index has accurately predicted the outcome of every presidential election since 1996 based on their top selling candidate mask.

Inspired by the polarizing candidates, Spirit Halloween teamed up with Harris Poll to survey more than 2,000 U.S. adults, asking why they would dress up as either candidate this Halloween, given the choice between Clinton and Trump (chosen by 45% vs. 55%, respectively). Key findings include the following:

  • The top reason Americans chose Donald Trump is to be funny (39%), whereas the top reason Americans choose Hillary Clinton is because they like her (31%).

  • About 1 out of 4 Republicans (23%) and Democrats (27%) who indicated that they would dress up as the opposite party’s candidate would do so to frighten America.

  • Twice as many Americans who would choose to dress up as Donald Trump say they would do so to mock him, compared to Americans who would choose to dress as Hillary Clinton to mock her (32% vs 16%).

The Washington Post, for an October 25th story, contacted Rubie's, the world's largest designer and manufacturer of Halloween costumes, and found out that the "Donald Latex Mask" is outselling the "Hillary Latex Mask" by a ratio of three-to-one.

At, one of the largest online retailers of Hallowe'en costumes, Trump masks are outselling Clinton masks.

What mask are you wearing this Hallowe'en? Personally, I'll go with something more traditional and keep politics out of it.