POWAY, Calif. -
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's comments over Big Bird have turned the Sesame Street character into the hottest costume for Halloween.
Halloween shops are stocking up, and one of the biggest costume suppliers, Disguise, is right here in Poway.
"I would not be surprised to see Big Bird in your local bars and parties for Halloween … It's going to be quite popular," said Jennifer Garcia, product brand manager at Poway-based costume supplier Disguise.
It used to be that kids wanted to dress up like the Sesame Street character, but now adults want in on it. Disguise has seen a 20 percent spike in Big Bird sales over last year.
When deciding what to wear, many are hung up on Romney's plans to take down Big Bird to help balance the budget. During the presidential debate last week, he spoke of stopping funding to PBS, and in turn, cutting funding for Sesame Street.
"I like PBS, I love Big Bird, I actually like you too, but I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for so that's number one," Romney said during the debate.
Romney's comments ruffled the feathers of President Barack Obama's campaign, which responded with an attack ad.
Every election year, Disguise sees a spike in sales for political costumes and sells more than four times as many candidate masks.
"Political figures are the [most fun] ones to make fun of because there's so much exposure to them on TV and on the Internet, so I think on both sides, whether you're pro-Obama or pro-Romney, you enjoy making fun of either," Garcia said.
Disguise has been in business for 25 years.
Each election year, whichever candidate's mask had higher sales predicted the next president. Right now, they are neck and neck, but President Obama has a slight lead.