Think this year’s election is scary? Just wait till you see which candidates are at your door on Halloween. So far, Obama masks are the top seller.
But this year’s Halloween campaign has a dark horse: Sarah Palin. Because of her relatively late announcement as a vice presidential candidate, costume suppliers were unprepared.
‘‘The costume manufacturers scrambled to identify a wig in their line that would work for her style and truthfully no one had anything that was exactly perfect, but I know they’re working on it,’’ said Dorice Dionne, co-founder of iParty. ‘‘It’s the same story for the eyeglasses. But we’re making do with traditional beehive wigs and granny glasses for now and they’re selling.’’
With such a long election cycle, and a hot presidential race, many of the stores stocked their shelves before the nominees had been decided. That means plenty of Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton masks to go around.
Meanwhile, iParty had to order more Palin-esque wigs for its 50 stores. BuyCostumes.com came up with a 99 cent paper mask for Palin.
At the top of the ticket, Obama had 68 percent of early presidential mask sales at Spirit Halloween and 55 percent at BuyCostumes.com; both companies claim their mask sales have predicted past winners. But of course, wearing a mask is not always an indicator of support.
‘‘As unreliable as some polls can be, this would be a really bad polling device,’’ said Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University.
Palin might also be the easiest costume to pull off without a mask, he notes. McCain looks like a regular old man, he said, while someone darkening his or her skin to be Obama may be accused of wearing blackface.
For Palin, the best thing people can do is ‘‘a hockey jersey and some lipstick and your hair up in a bun,’’ says Steven Silverstein, President and CEO of Spirit Halloween, a seasonal Halloween retailer with more than 600 locations.
And consider that for women, it’s a rare opportunity to dress as a candidate on the national ticket.
UPDATE: Looking for a quick, easy, inexpensive halloween mask? Here’s a site where you can download and print a presidential candidate mask.