Bryan Helmig

Co-founder of Zapier, speaker, musician and builder of things.

To celebrate the spirit of the upcoming election, I thought I’d collect a few past stats that have turned out to be pretty good predictors of the US presidential elections. These are quite silly but you can’t argue with the results. First up is one you’ve probably already heard about somewhere…

Halloween mask sales.

This is according to, the world’s largest online retailer of, well, costumes. According to them, the past two election years’ sales of each nominees’ masks have correlated perfectly to the actual winner. In 2000 and 2004, Buy Costumes had sold 57% and 53% George W. Bush masks, respectively. Obviously, Halloween masks have more power over our government than previously thought.

  • Prediction: Obama with 55%.

The Redskins’ final home game.

Basically, if the Red Skins win their final home game, the incumbent party will remain in office. This one was dug up by ESPN in 2004, while it didn’t work out last election, where the Redskins lost to the Packers predicting that Kerry would take office, it has otherwise proven accurate since 1936.

  • Prediction: Obama. Last night the Redskins lost 23-6.

Favorite cookie recipe.

Since 1992, each prospective first wife (or husband?) sent in their favorite cookie recipes to Family Circle for readers to vote on. Each year, the winner of that vote was the spouse of the winning on nominee on Nov. 4th. However, there was some talk of Cindy McCain cheating on her recipe, perhaps we should consider her disqualified…

  • Prediction: (Cindy?) McCain with 54% but cheated.

The Scholastic kids vote.

Apparently, asking a bunch of kids who will win the election is incredibly accurate. It’s worked since they started the poll, except for one year in 1960 when JFK supposedly lost to Nixon. The likely reason for the stunning accuracy is that the kids simply mirror their parents political opinions. Actually, this probably leads to a more accurate sampling than most polls because kids don’t filter very well. Just ask the master of getting-kids-to-say-dumb-stuff Bill Cosby…

  • Prediction: Obama with 57%.

So it looks like that’s three for Obama, and one for McCain (disputable). I think Obama is gonna take it too. We’ll see.

Posted November 3, 2008 @ 8:22 pm under Interesting.