A New Candidate?

For fans of the horse race, this presidential election comes up a little short. The remaining contests are worth watching to see how the Republican Party's competing factions reconcile the fact that they must put aside their differences and support Romney if they hope to defeat Barack Obama, but any semblance of drama disappeared once Romney won the first two nominating states. He now leads the polls in the upcoming primary states.

Thank god for Stephen Colbert. A recent Public Policy Polling survey showed that 5 percent of South Carolina Republicans would support the fake news host if he were a presidential candidate. That's 1 percent more than Jon Huntsman and falls within the margin of error for Rick Perry and Ron Paul.

On last night's Colbert Report, the comedian hinted to his fans that he might have something up his sleeve, winking at a "major announcement" for Thursday night's show. “This just got real,” Colbert said. “I’ve got to ask, what do you think, nation? Should I run for president in South Carolina?” His studio audience, of course, answered with a resounding yes.

Colbert, a South Carolina native, is not on the ballot, so his ability to wreak havoc is sadly limited. He could still launch a write-in campaign; thanks to South Carolina's open primary perhaps enough Democrats would turn out to boost Colbert even further past some of the GOP's also-rans. He might even win over some GOPers, as surveys indicate many conservatives don't think he is actually joking about his beliefs. And in a year dominated by super PACs, Colbert is already well positioned. He controls his own super PAC, whereas the others have gone the less direct route—Huntsman's is funded by his daddy, and Gingrich's gambling buddy provides the money for the former speaker's PAC.


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