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Colbert, Gingrich surge in South Carolina, Colbert leads nationally

imagePublic Policy Polling reports today indicate that pro-Colbert ads run by his former Super PAC are working. Colbert has surged in South Carolina polls, now at 8%, up from 5% just a few days ago. In an unscientific Obama Conspiracy Theories poll, most South Carolina voters are not even aware of who Stephen Colbert is, much less that he is running for President of South Carolina. That’s going to change after tomorrow’s mass rally in Charleston featuring Stephen Colbert and Herman Cain.

Newt Gingrich has taken the lead in South Carolina, polling 31% to Romney’s 26% (according to PPP). That poll was taken before Rick Perry withdrew and threw his support to Gingrich today.

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I suspect that The Colbert Report, Colbert’s 4-night-per-week program on Comedy Central, is over the heads of most South Carolinians (and it’s on too late at night and TiVos are illegal in the state1).  That’s not the case nationally. According to PPP, Colbert leads all Republican candidates nationally in approval.

Candidate Approval rating Negative rating
Stephen Colbert 36% 28%
Mitt Romney 35% 53%
Rick Santorum 30% 51%
Ron Paul 27% 57%
Newt Gingrich 26% 60%
Rick Perry 21% 63%

 

That same Public Policy Polling report shows Colbert receiving 13% of the vote in a three-way race with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.


1I just made that part about TiVos up.

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34 Responses to Colbert, Gingrich surge in South Carolina, Colbert leads nationally

  1. avatar
    gorefan January 19, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    The LA Times also polls Newt surging. In this article, they compare and contrast the styles of Newt and Mitt.

    This paragraph was the best:

    “In contrast, Gingrich seems more like the queen of England. On Monday afternoon, at the end of his remarks at Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse in Myrtle Beach, Gingrich remained on the speaker’s platform while the crowd lined up like kids waiting to see a department store Santa. They were shuffled through rapidly; the candidate barely made eye contact, offered the tiniest of smiles and made the briefest request for support.”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-gingrich-creeping-up-20120118,0,4265395.story

  2. avatar
    G January 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    I wonder if Colbert will mention this poll with him now at 8%…and how that beat Rick Perry’s 6%…

    Colbert can claim that first he beat Huntsman in the polls and then Huntsman dropped out and now he did the same to Perry… LOL!

    I’d love it if he picks up on that and runs with that theme. πŸ˜‰

    But yeah, seems like Newtmentum is upon us. Tonight’s CNN debate at 8pm is critical for him to sustain this…and also critical for Santorum to try to stay in and not be abandoned for Newt… Should be interesting. I also wonder how Newt’s ex-wife’s ABC interview will impact this…

  3. avatar
    G January 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    Are you going to the Rally tomorrow, Dr. C?

    Also – if you hear of any channel or site that will be providing live coverage of the event, please post it here. Thanks!

    Comedian Stephen Colbert and former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain are holding a rally at the College of Charleston Friday.

    College spokesman Mike Robertson said the free event will held at 1 p.m. at the Cistern Yard. Gates open at noon.

    Colbert announced the “Rock Me Like a Herman Cain South Cain-olina Primary Rally” Wednesday on his TV show The Colbert Report.

    “A vote for Herman Cain in Saturday’s primary would be a strong message to me that voters want me to run,” Colbert said.
    Voters who want to deliver that message to him themselves should attend the rally, he said.
    “This is real. It’s happening Friday at 1 p.m.,” he said. And he promised speeches, cheerleaders, a marching band and a gospel choir.

  4. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 19, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    He mentioned it last night.

    G: I wonder if Colbert will mention this poll with him now at 8%…and how that beat Rick Perry’s 6%…

  5. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 19, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    No, it’s on the other side of the state (3 1/2 hour drive each way).

    G: Are you going to the Rally tomorrow, Dr. C?

  6. avatar
    JPotter January 19, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    G: I also wonder how Newt’s ex-wife’s ABC interview will impact this…

    Well, so far the crowd is eating up everything sanctimonious Newt has to say. Looks more like anger than indignation to me πŸ˜‰

    At least he isn’t using the creepy fake smile he kept forcing to the surface while making the pundit rounds last Sunday morning.

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    Is it any wonder that Obama beats ALL the Republican challengers in the latest PPP poll?

    G: I also wonder how Newt’s ex-wife’s ABC interview will impact this…

  8. avatar
    sfjeff January 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: No, it’s on the other side of the state (3 1/2 hour drive each way).

    yeah I found that out a few years ago. Charleston is not close to everywhere else.

    But on the other hand….its always a good day to go visit Charleston.

  9. avatar
    Scientist January 19, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Is it any wonder that Obama beats ALL the Republican challengers in the latest PPP poll?

    Obama has moved up to 54% on InTrade. I should have bought back in September when he was at 40.

  10. avatar
    JPotter January 19, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    Scientist: Obama has moved up to 54% on InTrade.I should have bought back in September when he was at 40.

    Got to love the internet. Give you ways to (somewhat) ethically profit off of stupid! πŸ˜‰

  11. avatar
    G January 19, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    I recall him mentioning the PPP results for his winning the likeability poll results, but I don’t recall him mentioning his 8% to 6% for Perry…

    Dr. Conspiracy: He mentioned it last night.

  12. avatar
    G January 19, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

    Newt was fiery and bombastic all night. As much as he comes across like an @ss to most of us doing that, the red meat crowd loves it, so it will help him in SC.

    The thing is, Rick Santorum had his *best night ever* in the debate – strong and forceful throughout…and even came across the most “professional” in his behavior of everyone in the room.

    The SC fight for Conservative Alternative was truly the battle royal of this debate. I would say it is still an open split between the two of them, after delivering such strong performances…

    Romney on the other hand had his *worst debate ever* tonight – he was weak and rattled all night long and came across completely off his game. The only thing that still shined through for him was his shameless insincerity. Had he flubbed or prattled any more, he would have started entering Perry debate territory…

    JPotter: Well, so far the crowd is eating up everything sanctimonious Newt has to say. Looks more like anger than indignation to me At least he isn’t using the creepy fake smile he kept forcing to the surface while making the pundit rounds last Sunday morning.

  13. avatar
    Suranis January 19, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    I have to say that, to a foreigner like me, this display of evil jackasses tearing one another apart is quality entertainment.

  14. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 19, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    Colbert surge continues:

    A new Marist poll shows 18% of South Carolina Republicans are kinda somewhat likely to vote for Colbert. Among Republicans who actually know who Cobert is, 22% are kinda somewhat likely to vote for him.

    http://maristpoll.marist.edu/119-colbert/

  15. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 19, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    For one that lives here, it’s bitter disappointment.

    Suranis: I have to say that, to a foreigner like me, this display of evil jackasses tearing one another apart is quality entertainment.

  16. avatar
    JPotter January 19, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    For one that lives here, it’s bitter disappointment.

    Disappointing that this is what we’re getting, downright embarrassing to know that this sh*t sells on the street … to the citizens that even bother paying attention. I know what my coworkers won’t be talking about tomorrow morning!

  17. avatar
    JPotter January 19, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

    I missed Colbert at the debate?

  18. avatar
    Lupin January 20, 2012 at 2:31 am #

    Suranis: I have to say that, to a foreigner like me, this display of evil jackasses tearing one another apart is quality entertainment.

    I know where you’re coming from but personally I find it depressing.

    This isn’t an election in Narnia, it is the freakin’ United States of America.

  19. avatar
    J. Potter January 20, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    This morning on NPR, Kinky Friedman, who was last outdone by Rick Perry in a parody contest for the governorship of Texas, endorsed Stephen Colbert.

  20. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 20, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    The College of Charleston Cistern Yard web cam is here:

    http://webcams.cofc.edu/webcam3/index.php

    You can see the event set up and some people gathering. No audio, though.

    G: Also – if you hear of any channel or site that will be providing live coverage of the event, please post it here.

  21. avatar
    J. Potter January 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: The College of Charleston Cistern Yard web cam is here:

    quite a crowd!

  22. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    “There’s no doubt Stephen Colbert’s potential run for the presidency of the United States of South Carolina is being noticed,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Not only do nearly one in five tell us they are kinda somewhat likely to support him, but he fares even better with those who are aware of his efforts.”

  23. avatar
    G January 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    I think expecting 10% is quite a high bar. If he accomplishes that, that truly would be momentus.

    Realistically, if he can even pull of a 5% showing with this type of stunt campaign under this late timeframe, that is significant and newsworthy and should be considered a “success” on its own merits.

  24. avatar
    J. Potter January 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    G: I think expecting 10% is quite a high bar.

    C’mon, G, have some fun! My faith in my fellow Americans, despite being trod upon daily, remains unquenched. πŸ˜€

  25. avatar
    G January 20, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    πŸ˜‰

    Not trying to quash anyone’s enthusiasm. Just trying to re-set the expectations at a more realistic level.

    Accomplishments are worthy and should be able to be celebrated. Therefore, setting a threshold unrealistically high only serves to turn excessive enthusiasm into undeserved disappointment. Conversely, setting a bar too low just allows overconfident memes to set-in and overlooks holes and weaknesses that need to be addressed…and thus often also leads to unrealistic disappointment and failure in the long term.

    So, I’m just trying to get closer to what is more realistic and have some objective bars to measure and properly evaluate results by. That really is the best for supporters – I’m not feeding them false hopes nor am I being a party pooper.

    If he does get 5% – that *is* quite an accomplishment to pull off for what this is – under all factors involved. If he does better than that and hits or exceeds all of your dream goals – even better. But that is the mark I would use if I were him to see if he should consider finding ways to keep this particular satire meme going beyond just his home state of SC.

    If he doesn’t hit that, I don’t think he or his supporters should feel bad either. With what he & Jon Stewart are really doing and shedding light on with the Super-PAC, the mission has been accomplished merely in the journey itself. If such satirical messages need to take a different form to continue to have impact after this, then that is ok too.

    The important gauge is to not lose what he’s done by playing a bit beyond its shelf-life and risking it getting stale. It has already succeeded in its goals, regardless of getting any votes. The votes are really more of an indication of whether the bit has enough steam to stay fresh and return in similar form after the attention on SC is over and done.

    J. Potter: C’mon, G, have some fun! My faith in my fellow Americans, despite being trod upon daily, remains unquenched.

  26. avatar
    David January 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    I don’t have a vote in SC, so what I have to say doesn’t matter. But it is my sincere hope that he gets Above 5% in tomorrow’s primary. If he gets to 10%, that would certainly draw the attention of many mainstream folks, who might otherwise not hear the story.

  27. avatar
    G January 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    If he got 10%… the media and all of us should sit back and take notice…

    That scale of accomplishment for a comedic satirical candidacy attempt to translate to actual ballot box votes is probably completely unprecedented in anything but fiction.

    That is why this objectively needs to really be measured in context of other satirical runs… which can garnish much attention and serve their causes and get their message out there successfully on that alone.

    But in terms of those translating at the ballot box… I doubt there are many comparative examples that have even achieved a 1% threshold in the past…let alone anything more. I challenge anyone out there to see if they can find some good comparitive examples for us to set a real measuring stick against.

    Consider that this whole idea has just materialized in the past week on an election that takes place tomorrow and that other satirical office runs have often been in place for many months… it would make *any* corresponding result in actual ballot votes even more impressive – PERIOD.

    It would certainly speak volumes about the reach of Colbert’s following, for certain.

    What it would say beyond that in terms of politics, Super-PACs and other lesson messages would certainly become a topic of important analysis…

    David: I don’t have a vote in SC, so what I have to say doesn’t matter. But it is my sincere hope that he gets Above 5% in tomorrow’s primary. If he gets to 10%, that would certainly draw the attention of many mainstream folks, who might otherwise not hear the story.

  28. avatar
    J. Potter January 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    Oh, it’s sooooooo sweet!

    Gingrich and Perry, and by extension Huntsman and Santorum, got burned down in Virginia today. Gingrich has been talking trash about ‘activist’ judges for years, and Perrry has been beating the states’ rights drum, and the judge really had fun with their ballot challenge:
    http://www.npr.org/2012/01/20/145520865/gop-candidates-appeal-to-an-adversary-and-lose

    Ultimate conclusion: if you are soncerned about the constitutionality of this law, you should have filed when you first become aware of it. It was acceptable until you failed. Grow up!

    (that’s a paraphrase)

  29. avatar
    Keith January 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    G: If he got 10%… the media and all of us should sit back and take notice…

    If he gets 10%, he’ll probably go into complete black out mode in horror of the possibility that he could actually turn into a ‘real’ candidate.

    And since there is no way he could really defeat Obama in the election, he would need to ‘keep his powder dry’ for 2016. Of course he may well have missed his chance by then, but I really doubt it, I see nothing but satire from the GOP for the next 4 to 6 years. There is just no one of any substance on the horizon.

  30. avatar
    G January 20, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    Of course, on a non-political and objective level, the judge simply followed the law and ruled the right way and this was a no-brainer decision.

    But beyond that… LMAO! The irony of what these hypocrites espouse on the campaign trail about judges and states rights…and then they try to pull this weak cry-baby stunt and demand federal intervention to give them special favortism…as if their arrogant sense of self-entitlement justifies that the rules only apply to everyone else BUT them…!

    The whole audacity of it astounds. And that is what makes the judge’s open acknowledgement and admonishment of such to them all that more delicious…! πŸ™‚

    J. Potter: Oh, it’s sooooooo sweet!Gingrich and Perry, and by extension Huntsman and Santorum, got burned down in Virginia today. Gingrich has been talking trash about activist’ judges for years, and Perrry has been beating the states’ rights drum, and the judge really had fun with their ballot challenge:http://www.npr.org/2012/01/20/145520865/gop-candidates-appeal-to-an-adversary-and-loseUltimate conclusion: if you are soncerned about the constitutionality of this law, you should have filed when you first become aware of it. It was acceptable until you failed. Grow up!(that’s a paraphrase)

  31. avatar
    G January 20, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    LOL! You definitely make some points that are entertaining to think about… and point out the danger (to Colbert) of succeeding too well and what kind of pressure that puts on him. Obviously, his personal intentions are not truly to give up his sweet gig and have the pressures of running this crazy nation thrust on his shoulders.

    I mean think about it, the “idea” of President sounds great, because of the perceived power and prestige. But when it comes right down to it, it is also one of the most stressful and difficult jobs there is, full of many different groups that you always have to please and always full of people who will be unreasonably opposed and making up horrible lies about you. Not to mention the extended and expensive dog and pony show required to “interview” for the position. Everyone who is President visibly ages rapidly during their term. Many other careers (such as Colberts or even Huckabee having his own Fox News show) pay better for much less effort and with much less downside. No, the reality of the position is simple not as appealing as the mere notion of it seems…

    Keith: If he gets 10%, he’ll probably go into complete black out mode in horror of the possibility that he could actually turn into a real’ candidate. And since there is no way he could really defeat Obama in the election, he would need to β€˜keep his powder dry’ for 2016. Of course he may well have missed his chance by then, but I really doubt it, I see nothing but satire from the GOP for the next 4 to 6 years. There is just no one of any substance on the horizon.

  32. avatar
    G January 21, 2012 at 12:58 am #

    OK, here is a good site I found to give us some comparative statistics:

    http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/Top/satirical_candidates

    Now, it looks like the “Gold standard” for satirical candidate success in ballot election history was actually a Rhino named Cacareco. This took place in Brazil in 1959 and she actually WON the race (15%, 100,000 votes). However, as this took place in another country and was for a local city council race…there are enough differences to not make it a sufficient comparison to measure Colbert’s current schtick up against. But still, funny example to mention (see #2 on list at the site link above).

    For fair comparison, I think we need to constrain examples to U.S. Presidential race ballots.

    So, I’m going to confine the sample set to 6 examples that hopefully I can find actual ballot data results on. I’ll report back with their best state performances, once I’ve got that info.

    The important lesson here is that the very message and idea of these satire campaigns is usually their true story and measure of success, simply from the attention they bring during the process. Actual ballot box returns are therefore usually just bonus icing on the cake, and not the cake itself. The campaign and any coverage it gets is the cake.

    Here are the 6 that I will try to research & examine, so we can see what Colbert is truly up against:

    Pat Paulsen, Vermin Supreme, Pogo for President, Gracie Allen, Yetta Bronstein, Will Rogers

    G: But in terms of those translating at the ballot box… I doubt there are many comparative examples that have even achieved a 1% threshold in the past…let alone anything more. I challenge anyone out there to see if they can find some good comparitive examples for us to set a real measuring stick against.

  33. avatar
    G January 21, 2012 at 4:35 am #

    Ok, I’ve completed what I could find. The FEC site was most helpful. I couldn’t find any useful data on the ficticious character write-in campaigns for Yetta Bronstein and Pogo, so I eliminated them, and they really aren’t as good a match anyways.

    I did add Dick Gregory’s 1968 comedy write-in campaign however. I also couldn’t find any vote stats for Will Rogers in 1928…and I spent way too much time trying…but nada.

    So in terms of most votes I could find, it was Dick Gregory in 1968 with 47,097 write-in votes in that General Election. I could not find the write-in total for Pat Paulson – but that was the 1st year he did his perennial satire campaign too.

    At #2, was Gracie Allen in 1940 under the “Surprise Party” (write-in), which got a General Election total of over 42,000 votes.

    HOWEVER, those are GE results and the best comparison is primary performances.

    I could only find good data for Primary ballot results from the FEC for 1988 onwards. Pat Paulsen had his best year in 1992, where he got 10,984 total votes in the GOP Primary and competed in 4 states (KS, LA, NH, ND). A lot is written about him getting 2nd in ND to GHWB that year (4093 votes, 8.56%). However, he was the ONLY alternative to Bush on that ballot…so that sort of helps inflate his numbers there. I actually found his KS results of that year (5015 votes, 3rd place, 2.39%) to be more representative of a comparison.

    Pat Paulsen also ran in the 1996 Democratic Primary against incumbent Bill Clinton (last campaign before Pat passed away). He only competed in NH (1007 votes, 2nd place, 1.11%) and CA (310 votes, 4th place, 0.01%).

    As Pat Paulsen was a pop culture legend for doing this (ran in 6 presidential elections – 1968, 1972, 1980, 1988, 1992, 1996), he should be considered the “gold standard” to compare against.

    The other comparitive figure was Vermin Supreme, who has run in many different campaigns, including the most recent 4 presidential elections. I think he was a write-in 2000, but he appears in the 2004 Democratic Primary in DC (149 votes, 8th place, 0.35%), the 2008 GOP Primary in NH (41 votes, 15th place, 0.02%) and in this year’s 2012 Democratic Primary in NH (831 votes, 3rd place, 1.36%).

    Therefore, when looking at past examples – ALL of which spent a much longer time in running their campaigns prior to an election – it shows just how small the actual votes are compared to the true and enduring hype and legends of their actual campaign antics.

    I would consider the top number (8.56% & 2nd place) by Pat Paulsen in ND in 1988 to be misleading for our comparison, as that race ONLY had GHWB and Pat listed on the ballot.

    Therefore, the true ranges of past comedian’s success have only broken the 1% mark on 4 total occasions. (In addition to ND above, that is the 2.39%, 1.36% and 1.11% mentioned in their own sections above).

    So in summary, if Stephen Colbert gets more than 1% for Herman Cain tomorrow, *THAT* should be considered a success right there. That alone would put him in the top 5 of all time. Considering barely a week has passed since he thought up this idea…and he’s got to use someone else’s name to make his statement – to be amongst the top 5 should be recongized as a huge achievement on its own.

    If Colbert get’s above 2%, then he is truly performing where only Pat Paulsen has ever succeeded before. If he beats 2.39% and can beat getting more than 5015 votes in one state … then he truly has beat even Paulsen in the most comparitive similar example that we have. …

    So, when looking at actual similar examples from historical data, the reality shows that success for this type of satire campaign is a much, much lower bar that we thought. Nothing wrong with all the hype & excitement we’ve had in “setting expectations” for him… but now we at least know the history of what we’re up against and can evaluate his performance tomorrow against that…. instead of just against speculative hype.

    G: Here are the 6 that I will try to research & examine, so we can see what Colbert is truly up against:
    Pat Paulsen, Vermin Supreme, Pogo for President, Gracie Allen, Yetta Bronstein, Will Rogers

  34. avatar
    Keith January 21, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    G: Here are the 6 that I will try to research & examine, so we can see what Colbert is truly up against:

    Pat Paulsen, Vermin Supreme, Pogo for President, Gracie Allen, Yetta Bronstein, Will Rogers

    Great summary, G.

    But Pogo’s campaign, while fun, was not an actual campaign, you couldn’t vote for him and have your vote counted any more than a vote for Mickey Mouse or Daffy Duck would be counted.

    By the by, Pogo is finest comic in the history of comics. Doonesbury and Calvin and Hobbes are often named as the other two points in the triumvirate of great comics, and both Trudeau and Watterson look to Pogo as the pinnacle of comic art and their inspiration.