It’s not exactly a scientific poll—it’s not even a poll at all—but two cockroaches racing down a three-foot track in New Jersey have historically been a lot better at predicting the outcome of presidential elections than Punxsutawney Phil has been foreshadowing the coming of spring.
So, why not pay attention—especially, when we like the outcome?
Every four years, for the last 16 years, the New Jersey Pest Management Association has held a “presidential cockroach derby” in which two Madagascar hissing cockroaches compete to forecast how the presidential race is going to turn out.
Leaving alone the obvious inference of using roaches to represent politician—I hope that roaches don’t take offense– the derby has been a pretty good indicator. Reportedly, the roach race has been right 84 percent of the time. By comparison, Phil only gets it right 39 percent of the time—the groundhog just has a better PR group.
Here are how things turned out in the Romney Roach-Obama Bug match-up in New Brunswick:
Wow, it didn’t even look close—not good news for the president’s re-election effort. While you can take such predictors with a grain of salt—or, maybe, boric acid—it’s very telling that security had to be beefed up this year to keep people from stepping on Obama Bug. Not really shocking. These are small business people putting on the derby, after all.