Mitt Romney could be crawling to a White House victory if the efforts of a namesake cockroach are any indication.
Every four years, the New Jersey Pest Management Association holds a "presidential cockroach derby" that picks two Madagascar hissing cockroaches to stand in for the Republican and Democratic nominees and races them on a three-foot-long track.
This year marked the 16th Running of the Roaches and pitted a Romney roach against a Barack Obama bug, each with a tiny caricature of the nominees taped to their backs.
Leonard Douglen, association executive director of the NJPMA, admits the race is a publicity stunt for the organization, but still thinks the roach race can be a good indicator of who will win the real campaign come November.
“We have an 84 percent prediction rate,” Douglen told the New Jersey Star-Ledger.
Although there is a history of animals making accurate psychic predictions, such as Paul the Psychic Octopus of 2010 World Cup fame, Douglen admits there's no scientific evidence of roaches predicting anything, except that people do not prefer insect infested restaurants.
NJPMA vice president Phillip Cooper, who is in charge of raising the racing roaches, couldn't help but notice parallels between the candidates and the cockroaches.
“Look, the Obama Roach is leaning a little to the left,” he remarked to APP.com as he loaded the roaches onto the track.
The political quips didn't stop there.
Douglen joked to the Star-Ledger that the Obama roach had to have security to ensure he didn't get squashed by a spectator. When the Romney Roach attempted to climb back onto the track and head in the other direction, an onlooker remarked, “Look, he’s flip-flopping. Typical.”
If the 84 percent success rate is any indication, Romney will be the next president, since his bug beat the Obama insect handily.
“I am not saying that the race can actually predict the outcome of the national elections,” Douglen told PCTOnline.com. "But in 2008, it was the Obama cockroach that won the race.”