While pundits and prognosticators mostly rely upon polling and economic data to forecast the outcome of the presidential race, there are some other unusual models that have become part of presidential year tradition. Some even have a good track record.
Prediction: Whichever candidate blinks the most while talking during the debates will lose the election.
Advantage: Romney, so far. According to Smart Politics, the blog of the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Obama blinked an average 70.8 times per minute while Romney averaged 52.8 blinks per minute. There are still two more debates in which Obama has a chance to make up lost ground.
Record: 8-8. The "blinking rule" has accurately predicted the outcome of every presidential race since 1980.
Family Circle Cookie Contest
Prediction: The candidate whose wife has the best cookie recipe will win the election.
Advantage: Obama. Michele Obama's white and dark chocolate cookies beat out Ann Romney's M&M cookies, 51.5 to 48.5 percent. 9,441 Family Circle readers cast votes in the contest.
Record: 4-5. The contest began in 1992 after Hillary Clinton quipped that she did not "stay home and bake cookies" while serving as the First Lady of Arkansas. Since then, the husband of the cookie contest winner won the election, except in 2008 when Cindy McCain's oatmeal-butterscotch cookies beat Michelle Obama's citrusy shortbread cookies.
7-Eleven Coffee Cup Contest
Prediction: Consumers buying coffee at the 7-Eleven convenience stores can choose between an Obama or Romney cup. Whichever candidate's cup sells the most will win the election.
Advantage: Obama, so far. As of Sunday, Obama has the lead, 60 to 40 percent, according to the 7-Eleven website.
Record: 3-3. Since 2000, the contest has accurately predicted the winner. In 2004 and 2008, it was within one percent of the popular vote.
Halloween Mask Sales
Prediction: The candidate whose Halloween mask sells the most will win the election.
Advantage: Obama, so far. According to Spirit Halloween, one of the nation's largest costume retailers, Obama mask sales currently outnumber Romney mask sales, 64 to 36 percent.
Record: 4-4. Halloween mask sells have correctly predicted the outcome of every presidential race since 1996, when Spirit Halloween first started announcing the results.
Scholastic Kid's Poll
Prediction: Whoever wins the Scholastic Student Vote poll will win the election.
Advantage: To be decided. Online voting for those under age 18 closes Wednesday, Oct. 10.
Record: 15-17. The poll has accurately predicted the outcome of all but two races since 1940. In 1948 the students predicted that Thomas Dewey would beat Harry Truman and in 1960 they predicted that Richard Nixon would best John Kennedy.