Store owner uses sales to predict election outcome

Philip Kurland uses his election button sales at the Plains Trading Post to predict the outcome of the race based off of which party sells more

/ Colby Gallagher

Buttons: some collect them for a hobby, some use them as a decoration -- but for one local store owner, they hold a lot more meaning.

"95% of our business comes from out of state and what we do is count the button sales for the current presidential election," said Philip Kurland, owner of the Plains Trading Post.

Kurland uses his election button sales to predict the outcome of the race based off of which party sells more. Although intrigued, some customers are skeptical.

"As of now I'd like to know more about the past history as to how many he predicted right," said Betty Mihlfried.

In 27 years of business, Kurland has only been wrong once and that was in 2008. Now, 4 years later he's curious to see if he can get back on the right track -- and so is the public.

"Well, it'll be interesting to see if he keeps his track record up. It's kind of like the groundhog, right? Everybody bets on whether he's going to see his shadow or not," said Cindy O'Connell.

The pressure's on, and Kurland says this election, like the last, is different than normal because of how close the sales are just days away from November 6th.

"Normally I would know by now which way it's going because we'd see quite a trend that I knew couldn't be changed but this time, it's more fun this time because it's so close," said Kurland.

Even though many are watching to see if he can redeem himself this election, Kurland isn't worried. In fact, he's excited.

"It's sort of like when I was a kid the first election I watched results was JFK and Nixon. I stayed up all night watching the TV to see who would win. This reminds me of that."

With the trend in sales giving nothing away, fans will have to wait until Kurland closes his doors on Tuesday to find out his prediction.

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