HAIGHT
Morry Gash  /  AP
Buyseasons.com chief operating officer Daniel Haight (center) says that in the run-up to the last six elections, sales of rubber Halloween masks caricaturing the Republican and Democratic candidates have predicted the election outcome.
updated 9/30/2004 3:35:49 PM ET 2004-09-30T19:35:49

Maybe there’s a reason Halloween and Election Day are so close together.

For the last six presidential elections, since Ronald Reagan’s first victory, sales of rubber Halloween masks caricaturing the Republican and Democratic candidates have predicted the next president, according to an Internet costume seller.

President Bush is leading so far this year. As of Thursday, 55 percent of the masks sold were of Bush and 45 percent of John Kerry, said Daniel Haight, chief operating officer of New Berlin-based Buyseasons, which owns Buycostumes.com.

“The mask sales have been 100 percent accurate,” Haight said.  “So far we have no reason to believe this year will be any different.”

Many recent polls have also shown Bush in the lead.

Buycostumes.com began counting presidential masks in 2000, using its own sales and those of five Wisconsin and Illinois stores called Halloween Express. That year, it found that 57 percent of the masks purchased were of Bush and 43 percent of Al Gore.

For the earlier elections, the company compiled numbers from five mask manufacturers and 12 costume stores nationwide.

Not everyone is sold on the methodology.

“If that’s true, then in all honesty Richard Nixon will win again,” said Jeff Campbell, owner of the Joke Shop, which sells masks in Waukesha. He said Nixon is his store’s most popular mask.

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