Photo: Mitch Diamond/Getty Images

Putting an academic spin on a yearly debate, writers Benjamin Cohen and David Ng have conducted a study of Halloween candy preferences using data culled from more than 1,000 individuals. The base results aren’t too surprising: Kit Kats, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Twix, and Snickers take the top spots, following the jokey options “any full-sized candy bar” and “cash, or other forms of legal tender.” The bottom end of the spectrum is occupied by various hardened sugars: Tic Tacs, Chiclets, Sweetums, and Jolly Ranchers, as well as Peeps, fruit, and dental supplies. You can see the entire study on Boing Boing as well as pore over this high-quality infographic.

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At 1,275 respondents, it’s admittedly not the most far-reaching study—even compared to the same researchers’ similar survey from last year, which netted almost four times as many ballots. Year over year, though, the results do document some interesting trends, and the researchers find a few innovative ways to slice the data. For example, we can see that Republicans enjoy Skittles more than Democrats, while Democrats rank cold, hard cash as the No. 1 possible Halloween treat—which Republicans didn’t even place in their top 10. Cohen and Ng have generously made all their raw data available for fellow statisticians, opening up the possibility that our fractured nation may be able to be healed by reverse-engineering a candy that will appeal to red and blue states alike.

Perhaps most optimistically, the Boing Boing study outright refutes the recent claims from Influenster that “the candy of choice in the most number of states” is candy corn. Ng and Cohen cite a high number of “despair” and “meh” responses to the purposeless foodstuff in both this survey and the one conducted last year. It seems that, no matter our individual leanings, we can all agree on the fundamental truth that candy corn is garbage.