State Politics

January 10, 2012

People are people -- and they would vote for Colbert

Perhaps Stephen Colbert should have gone for a spot on the South Carolina presidential primary ballot again instead on just trying to have his super PAC sponsor it.

The TV personality and Charleston native would receive 5 percent of the votes and finish slightly ahead of Jon Huntsman if he were included in the SC GOP presidential primary, according to poll of likely voters released Tuesday by Public Policy Polling of Raleigh.

The reason: Colbert would have lured more Democratic voters to the open primary, pollsters said. One third of the Democrats already planning to vote on Jan. 21 favored Colbert most -- well ahead of Mitt Romney (15 percent), Newt Gingrich (13 percent) and Rick Santorum (10 percent).

And perhaps the host of "The Colbert Report" could have done better.

Public Policy Polling estimates Colbert's name would have drawn even more voters than those planning to go to polls now -- enough to win 10-15 percent and a fourth-place finish above Ron Paul (8 percent) and Rick Perry (7 percent).

Colbert tried and failed to get on the Democratic ballot in 2008. This year, he offered to pay $500,000 for the naming rights to the GOP primary and to add a referendum on the ballot.

Alas, he found no takers.

Well, there's a hollow victory here.

Colbert's rebuffed referendum question asking that "only people are people" -- a take off Romney's quote that "corporations are people" -- would pass by a 2-to-1 margin in South Carolina, the poll found.

One problem with the findings: The poll did not survey corporations for their opinions.

UPDATE: Huntsman learned of the poll result during an interview with the Fox News today. His response was diplomatic: "When I was on his show recently, he promised me the Colbert bump. I think I'm getting that here in New Hampshire. Now I'm going to be looking for the Colbert bump in South Carolina."

(Get poll details here.)

Twitter accounts are people, too, and one needs reassurance of your support. Follow our SC presidential primary news feed: @SCPrimary2012

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