Revelers are planning costumes inspired by the campaign for the Nov. 8 election, seeking catharsis and humor at the end of the often bitterly fought White House race between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Ted Wright, a marketing executive from Atlanta, said he and his wife were planning to dress as a "bad hombre" and "nasty woman," respectively, references to Trump's much-ridiculed remarks about some Mexican immigrants and Clinton during a presidential debate on Oct. 19.
"This is one of those elections where it’s very difficult to discuss [it] in polite company," said Wright, 49, a Republican who said he would not vote for Trump. "That is why we’re going 'bad hombre' and we’re going 'nasty woman.'"
Hannah Hemperly, a 22-year-old recent college graduate, said she planned to dress up as a "nasty woman" as well.
"When (Trump) was calling (Clinton) a 'nasty woman,' I think I just felt solidarity with Hillary," said Hemperly, who lives in Chicago and planned to vote for the Democratic nominee.
Jake West, who works at a Chicago-area architecture firm, said he was going to assemble a group of friends to dress as a "basket of deplorables," a reference to Clinton's infamous put-down during a fundraiser of some Trump supporters.
West, 43, latched onto the idea "because that word, that phrase, 'basket of deplorables' has been flying around so much."
More traditional election-related costumes were also popular ahead of the fancy dress parties and parades planned for the days around Halloween, Oct. 31.
Foam Clinton and Trump masks priced at $12.99 were among the top-sellers at Spirit Halloween, according to a spokeswoman for the chain, which specializes in costumes and party supplies. By Wednesday, the Clinton mask had sold out online.
Someone dressed up in a full prison uniform and Hillary Clinton mask: pic.twitter.com/mlzke62Qql— Trick-or-Travis 🕸 (@travislylesnews) October 22, 2016
Corey Campbell of Virginia said he would shave his beard to mark a briefly famous moment in the campaign. Campbell planned to dress as Ken Bone, the mustachioed, red sweater-wearing audience member who became a social media sensation after he cut into the campaign acrimony to ask an earnest question about energy policy during a town hall presidential debate on Oct. 9.
Campbell, who said he was leaning toward voting for Trump, called Bone "a bright moment in this crazy campaign cycle."
"I think the only way you could not have a little campaign fatigue after this cycle is if you haven't been paying attention."