Most national polls show Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leading her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, by several points. But there’s one place where a Trump is pulling ahead of a Clinton: in the ocean.
Researchers at Nova Southeastern University in Florida are tracking how far two shortfin mako sharks — dubbed the Clinton Shark and the Trump Shark — swim for a migratory research project. They launched the “Shark Race to the White House” on Sept. 26, the same day the two nominees faced off in the first presidential debate, and are following the sharks as they venture into the Atlantic Ocean. The animal that travels the farthest by Nov. 1 will be declared the winner.
The sharks even have slogans: Clinton Shark’s motto is “Swimming Stronger Together,” and Trump Shark’s is “Mako America Great Again.”
So far, Trump Shark is ahead, having traveled more than 150 miles in the first week. Clinton Shark only swam 50 miles.
Such varied migration patterns are normal, NSU researchers said in a statement. Some mako sharks will swim thousands of miles, crossing into international waters, while others prefer to stay close to home.
The school launched an interactive website for the race that allows viewers to see how many miles each shark has traveled, where it has visited and its last known location.
The goal of the project is to help researchers learn more about sharks and to better understand why tens of millions of them die off each year.
“We’ve learned some very interesting things about mako migrations over the past couple of years, but they continue to surprise us,” Mahmood Shivji, an NSU professor involved in the research, said in the statement. “There is clearly a lot more to discover about their behavior.”