As viewers of The Colbert Report already know, actor/comedian Stephen Colbert has entered the South Carolina primaries as both a Democrat and a Republican. Whether this is a publicity stunt, a political statement or a legitimate run for the White House, it has energized the political climate in the US.
Well, the early polls are already rolling in. “The overall numbers show Hillary Clinton at 45%, Rudy Giuliani at 35%, and Colbert at 13%.” In hypothetical three way election scenarios, Colbert’s huge support among 18-29 year olds trounces the Republican candidates and is second only to Hillary Clinton.
Strangely, Colbert’s liberal counterpart didn’t fare as well. ” An earlier survey found that only 8% of Americans say they would definitely vote for comedian Jon Stewart if he was on the ballot in 2008. 38% say they would definitely vote against Stewart.”
Both parties are already fielding at least a half dozen candidates, but the crowded field just works in Colbert’s favour. Democrats have been torn between a few promising candidates while Republicans bemoan the collection of unelectable extremists pandering to various incompatible segments of the party’s base. Colbert’s actual political views are unclear, as he very rarely breaks character on camera. However, his steadfast commitment to saying the opposite of what he really means likely makes him the most honest candidate on the Republican ticket. At least people know when he’s being truthy instead of truthful.
Update: After South Carolina Democrats voted 13-3 not to allow him on their ballot, Stephen Colbert has dropped out of the race. He notes that he lost by the smallest margin in presidential history, 10 votes.