As the political primary season heats up, one costume company is hoping its new poll will help unmask this year's winners.
As it has done since 2000, BuyCostumes.com has launched its Official 2012 Presidential Mask Poll, an online straw poll that tallies votes to predict the outcome of the primaries and general election, based on the sales of custom-designed candidate masks.
This month, the company began monitoring the sales of its custom paper masks in the likeness of Republican hopefuls Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry to gauge the results of the primaries.
Come the general election, BuyCostumes.com will conduct a similar poll based on the sales of the masks of the Republican nominee and the incumbent, President Obama.
Since starting the poll more than a decade ago, the poll has accurately predicted the winner of the past three presidential elections.
In the 2000 mask poll, George Bush masks outsold Al Gore's 57 to 43 percent. In 2004, the sale of Bush masks outsold John Kerry's 53 to 47 percent and four years ago, the Barack Obama mask outsold John McCain's 55 to 45 percent.
"These masks are a lot of fun and an inexpensive way for people to show their enthusiasm with the election process,” said Daniel Haight, BuyCostumes.com's president and CEO.
The masks are being sold for 99 cents each. Results of the poll can be monitored online.