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How is bubblegum on a stick No. 1?

Craziness marred the debate. Tampering and other shenanigans must have influenced the vote. I refuse to accept the outcome.

Blow Pops? C’mon, man. There’s no way Blow Pops won Ohio.

I am referring to, of course, the results of CandyStore.com’s annual Most Popular Halloween Candy in the US survey.

Every year, the bulk candy retailer and distributor CandyStore.com publishes a state-by-state breakdown of the most popular Halloween candies across the nation.

Every year, I am amazed that there are states in this great land of ours that fill their shopping carts with Swedish Fish (Georgia), Hot Tamales (Arizona) or salt water taffy (Wyoming) as their No. 1 candidates. Tremendously weak. Why not just plant a sign in your yard that says, “Soap my windows — no real candy here.”

Now I see that my beloved Ohio has slipped. We are the only state in the union that elevated Blow Pops to No. 1.

CandyStore, please tell me these rankings are a horrible trick trying to spoil my treats.

I don’t care for Halloween itself. Enough horror stories haunt our times without setting aside a day to celebrate mayhem and monsters. Please, turn on the light.

But I am a fan of Nov. 1, that glorious day when discounts kick in on leftover Halloween candy. It ranks right up there with Feb. 15 as special days for chocolate lovers operating on a budget.

Which is why Candy Store’s rankings, based on sales figures from 2007 to 2019, frighten me. Where’s the chocolate?

Here in the Buckeye State, bubble gum on a stick bumped multi-year champion M&Ms into the No. 2 spot, while Starburst kept its hold as the third-best-selling Halloween candy.

I may move to North Carolina (Reese’s Cups), Virginia (Snickers) or Arkansas (Twix). Or Kansas, where the top three are Reese’s Cups, M&M’s and Snickers.

Here are a few other facts to consider gleaned from the polls at Candy Store.com:

• The top 10 nationally in order are Skittles, Reese’s Cups, Starburst, M&M’s, Hot Tamales, candy corn, Snickers, Sour Patch Kids, Hershey Kisses and Jolly Ranchers.

• More than 50 percent of parents buying Halloween candy stash away some for later in the year. (The survey does not say how many of these parents find hidden bags 12 years later, hard and stale, but eat it anyway.)

• CandyStore.com’s interactive map shows that our next-door neighbor, Pennsylvania, chose Hershey’s Mini Bars, Skittles and M&Ms as its top three sellers. (Insult to injury is having to admit that PA tastes make more sense than OH.)

• West Virginia also leads with Hershey’s Mini Bars, followed by Blow Pops and Milky Way. (Apparently, an overflow of Ohio Blow Pops rolled down the mountains.)

• On our western border, Indiana votes for Starburst, Hot Tamales and Jolly Ranchers. (If you love chocolate, the survey says Hoosiers are gonna hose ya.)

• To our south, Kentucky ranks them Swedish Fish, Reese’s Cups and Hot Tamales. (Give me a break and pick up some Kit Kat bars.)

• That maize-and-blue State Up North favors candy corn, Starburst and Skittles. (Figures.)

Remember, this year, vote chocolate.

— Treat Cole at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or @BurtonWCole on Twitter.

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