By Nguyen Thuy Ha
Adiatu Yansaneh will be the president for one night this year when she dresses up as President Barack Obama for Halloween.
Yansaneh picked up an Obama mask at the Party City store in Greenbelt. The mask sat along side masks of former Gov. Mitt Romney.
The ongoing presidential election is influencing Halloween fashion trends. And with the holiday fast proximity to election night, around 767,000 Halloween partygoers are expected to be a politician, according to the National Retail Federation’s recent survey conducted by BIGinsight.
This number is up from the last presidential election in 2008 when the NRF’s top costumes survey found more than 570,000 Americans said they would dress up as a political figure for the Halloween parties.
“The increasing number of party-goers planning on wearing political costumes are very common in election years,” said NRF’s Media Relations senior director Kathy Grannis.
Political costumes are among the top pop culture favorites this year, which include Super Mario bros, action heroes, athletes and Star Wars characters, according to the NRF’s Big Blog. Traditional styles like pumpkins, princesses, witches and vampires are still taking the top spots in NFR’s Top Costumes survey this year.
The NFR’s consumer spending survey found out that nearly 1 in 10 celebrants chose their costumes from current events and for this reason “we’ll see plenty of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney look-alikes out-and-about for Halloween,” said BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director, Pam Goodfellow.
The survey also revealed a record number of 170 million Americans planning to celebrate Halloween this year, spending nearly $8 billion, a billion more from last year.
The presidential masks’ prices range from $6.99 at Party City to $14.99 at CVS. They can also be found at other retail stores like Walgreens, Walmart, Target and pop-up Halloween stores at the similar prices or higher depending on the quality.
Obama and Romney are not only having a tit-for-tat affair at the polls but also at the costume shops.
Serap Deniz Rada, of Hyattsville, found out Obama masks were selling out faster than Romney masks while shopping at Langley Park’s Walgreens.
“The hangers where the Obama masks used to hang were empty and all of Romney masks were still there,” Rada said. A cashier later told her that all the Obama masks were sold out.
The CNBC website, which also put the presidential masks among the 2012 trendiest Halloween costumes for adults, said some costume retailers hint that mask purchases may forecast the election’s result.
Yansaneh said she will “vote for Obama all the way.”
Regardless of who wins the election, don’t be surprised to see Obama and Romney look-a-likes among the superheroes and zombies at the Halloween parties you attend this season.