Presidential polls come in all shapes and sizes
Sure CNN, Gallup and USA Today provide systematic pre-election polls, but some people predict presidential winners based on taste buds and golf swings.
Some people have devised alternatives to the old 'call 'em up and ask them who they are likely to vote for in this year's election. Instead, they are using cookies, beer, golf balls and children to predict the outcome of the race between Republican George W. Bush and Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry.
Not to go out on a limb, political experts say goofy polls are simply a fun way to be a part of the pre-election buzz.
"I think this year there are many polls because the election is so close," said Chris Bonneau, a professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh. "Polls give us an indication on what to look out for on election night."
"The wacky polls are another way to express support because people are going to buy a cookie anyway. "
While many are not taking the unconventional and unscientific polls too seriously, some of the pollsters claim they have been accurately predicting the next prez for years. For example, BuyCostumes.com, a costume seller based in Wisconsin, began tracking presidential candidate mask sales in 2000.
After surveying five mask manufacturers and 12 national stores about their sales history since 1980, they found the winner of the election was the person whose mask outsold their opponent.
Here is a round-up of some of the offbeat polls Trib p.m. found:
Jonathan Bernstein, marketing director for Jenny Lee, said this is the fourth presidential cookie poll they have conducted, starting with the Bush-Clinton race in 1992.
"Of the last three, our cookie poll has been correct in picking the winner," he said. "Initially, we just thought it would be a lot of fun and a way to promote the bakery."
Poll results: Kerry pulled into the lead this weekend, 969 to 930.
Poll results: At last count, Bush was a hole-in-one
Poll results: Dubya in a landslide.
-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.