© 2024 WKNO FM
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Political Costumes This Halloween Rank Right Behind Slasher Villains, Wonder Woman

Donald Trump holds up a mask of himself during a rally in Florida in November 2016.
Mandel Ngan
AFP/Getty Images
Donald Trump holds up a mask of himself during a rally in Florida in November 2016.

Hillary Clinton seemed startled by the question.

But asked Monday night at an event promoting her new book what she was going as for Halloween, she said, "I have to start thinking about it. ... I think I will maybe come as the president."

It wasn't clear whether she meant President Trump or just "as president."

That got laughs. But if you're like Clinton and maybe pulling on a Trump mask or a Sean Spicer lectern or maybe even a Hillary Clinton pantsuit for Halloween Tuesday, you'll be like roughly 2 percent of the population.

That's actually pretty high for a non-presidential-election year.

"Normally, political costumes trend during presidential elections," said Ana Smith, a spokeswoman for the National Retail Foundation, which conducts an annual survey on Halloween spending and costumes.

"This is the first time in our survey we see political characters as one of the top 15 costumes of choice for adults, post a presidential election year."

Political costumes will make up 2.2 percent of adult costumes this year, according to the survey. That's down from 2.7 percent last year. But, of course, that was an election year.

Political costumes come in at No. 11 on the list of costumes this year, very closely behind those wearing Batman, Star Wars, slasher movie villain (like Jason and from Scream) and Wonder Woman costumes.

Top Adult Costumes — 2017

1. Witch 8.5%
2. Batman character (Batman, Cat Woman, etc.) 4.7%
3. Animal (dog, cat) 4.3%
4. Pirate 4.1%
5. Marvel superhero (Spider-Man, Captain America, etc.) 3.8%
6. Vampire 3.1%
7. Zombie 2.6%
8. DC Superhero (non-Batman, Wonder Woman) 2.3%
9. Slasher movie villain (Jason, Scream character, etc.) 2.3%
10. Wonder Woman 2.2%
11. Political (Trump, Clinton, etc.) 2.2%
12. Clown 1.6%
13. Doctor/nurse 1.4%
14. Ghost 1.4%
15. Video game character 1.3%

(Note: Some percentages are the same, but they are rounded to the nearest tenth.)

Political costumes were No. 8 in both 2016 and 2008, when Barack Obama was first elected. But a higher percentage of people say they will be wearing a political costume this year than in any year except 2016 when Trump was elected.

Political Costumes By Year, Rank Compared With Other Adult Costumes And Percentage of Population

2017: No. 11 most popular — 2.2% of population
2016: No. 8 – 2.7%
2015: No. 10 – 1.5%
2014: unranked
2013: unranked
2012: unranked
2011: unranked
2010: unranked
2009: unranked
2008: No. 8 — 1.6%

Happy Halloween!

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Domenico Montanaro is NPR's senior political editor/correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage.