On his Comedy Central TV show last night, Stephen Colbert said he will make a major announcement tonight regarding a recent poll finding him practically tied with Jon Hunstman in South Carolina. Will he once again begin a campaign for the White House?
On his program Wednesday night, Colbert aired a segment about a recent poll by Public Policy Polling that showed five percent support for him in South Carolina, his home state, slightly ahead of Huntsman, who garnered four percent support. Huntsman is vying for the GOP presidential nomination and has been trailing other popular candidates such as Ron Paul and Mitt Romney.
Did a TV show host with a fictional ultra-right personality just trump a real GOP candidate?
The buzz in media today surrounds Colbert's possible flirtation with being a write-in candidate in South Carolina’s Republican presidential primary. After all, he said he would make a big announcement on Thursday night. “My heart always leads me to me!” he said.
He added he would “go home, sit down and talk it over with my money” before announcing a decision on Thursday.
How did Colbert achieve such massive publicity in South Carolina? First, he was born there, and he recently created a Super PAC to help finance broadcast TV ads on anything he chooses. Also, as Time points out, he enjoyed plenty of exposure after trying to buy the naming rights to the primary, wanting to call the contest “The Colbert Nation Super PAC Presidential Primary.”
Huntsman learned about Colbert's slight lead recently, and he told Fox News that Colbert told him that when he as a guest on the show that he should get a “Colbert bump” in popularity. But the comedian points out the bump went in the other direction.
“I’m sorry Governor Huntsman.” Colbert said on his show. “I guess the Colbert bump reflected off of you and bounced back to me. That happens in the rare instances when my guests are whiter than I am.”
Colbert tried to make a run for the White House several years ago. In September 2007, Colbert announced he would run but was stymied by the $35,000 fee to file for the Republican primary was. He abandoned plans to run as a Republican and was also denied a place on the ballot by the South Carolina Democratic Party executive council. He dropped out in November 2007.