Colbert Tops Poll for Replacing Retiring Senator

by InvestorPlace Staff | December 12, 2012 9:28 am

[1]According to a recent poll done by Public Policy Polling, Stephen Colbert — yes, the same Stephen Colbert who hosts The Colbert Report — tops a list[2] of likely Republican appointees for retiring South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint’s seat.

In the poll, 20% of voters polled chose him as their favorite candidate. Of course, the poll results should be taken with several grains of salt. First off, Colbert has greater name recognition[3] than any of the other candidates being suggested as likely choices by Gov. Nikki Haley (Tim Scott, Trey Gowdy, Mick Mulvaney, Jeff Duncan, Henry McMaster, and Jenny Sanford). Second, Colbert — the actor, not the character — is the only liberal on a list of of conservatives, which meant he likely pulled in any liberal or centrist voters polled. Third, Haley is highly unlikely to select a TV host living and working out of New York for a South Carolina Senate seat.

Still, it’s not an idea to dismiss entirely. After all, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken used to write for and appear on Saturday Night Live. More recently, actress Ashley Judd has been making waves by suggesting she may run for Senate in Kentucky[4]. Colbert could easily move back to South Carolina, as Judd would have to do to run in Kentucky, and that part of the argument against him would be invalid.

And given some of the crazy things that have happened in South Carolina’s political history — Rep. Joe Wilson shouting “You lie!” in the middle of Barack Obama’s 2010 State of the Union address, former Gov. Mark Sanford disappearing from office for six days to meet with his mistress in Argentina, the Democrats selecting as their 2010 Senate candidate an unemployed and involuntarily discharged veteran who was once arrested for showing pornography to an 18-year-old student — Colbert being appointed to the Senate couldn’t possibly be any crazier.

— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPolitics Editor

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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