Forget Gallup, NBC Touts Obama Beating Romney (Not Anymore) in Halloween Mask Sales

With Friday's Gallup tracking poll showing Mitt Romney with a 51-45 lead over Barack Obama, the crew at NBC's Today decided to focus on a much more reliable method of predicting the next President of the United States: Halloween mask sales. Co-host Matt Lauer announced: "...there's some science behind this when it comes to the election. For example, according to the Huffington Post, this year Obama masks are out-selling Romney masks by more than 30%." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Lauer detailed how the candidate with stronger mask sales has won the past several presidential contests. Co-host Savannah Guthrie declared: "That's a perfect record....the polls are all over the place, so you know what? Maybe it's as good a predictor as any."

There was just one problem with the Huffington Post article Lauer cited, it was three weeks old. Today.com acknowledged a major shift in sales since the Huffington item was posted on September 26:

Brad Butler, chief operating officer of Halloween Express....noticed that the presidential debate had an unexpected impact on another favorite costume – presidential masks. Before the debate, the two candidates were about even...."Since the debate, we're selling two-to-one Romney to Obama," he said. Other retailers are seeing a similar spike, including Spirit Halloween, which has locations around the country. "Romney's Halloween mask sales...have increased since last week," said Lisa Barr, senior director of marketing for Spirit Halloween.

Strange that updated information didn't make it on air. What absurd indicator will they turn to next?


Here is a transcript of the October 19 exchange:

7:50AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Meantime, Halloween, of course, almost here, the Presidential election just 18 days away. Those two things tend to go together. President Obama and Governor Romney masks are in demand. The folks at Ricky's sent us their latest prototypes.

MATT LAUER: And you might say, well, this is obvious, these are two of the most popular Halloween masks, but there's some science behind this when it comes to the election. For example, according to the Huffington Post...

NATALIE MORALES: Some – some – science.

LAUER: ...this year Obama masks are out-selling Romney masks by more than 30%. Now we put that in perspective. According to Spirit Halloween Company, figures show that Bill Clinton out-sold Bob Dole, George Bush out-sold Al Gore, Bush out-sold John Kerry, and Obama out-sold John McCain, and you know what happened in all of those elections.

ALROKER: In each of those.

GUTHRIE: That's a perfect record...

ROKER: Interesting.

GUTHRIE: ...in Halloween masks. Well, look, I mean, as I said before, the polls are all over the place, so you know what? Maybe it's as good a – good a predictor as any.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC