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In a sign that the media & political junkies are already taking his presidential run much more seriously than the candidate himself, Rasmussen has conducted a poll with Colbert as a third party candidate. More surprising, though, is the fact that the public seems to be taking Colbert’s candidacy more seriously than he does as well.

The nationwide poll shows that in a three-way race against Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton, Colbert gets 13% of support to Clinton’s 45% and Giuliani’s 35%. With Fred Thompson as the GOP nominee (a prospect about as likely as a 3rd party candidacy) its Clinton 46%, Thompson 34%, and Colbert 12%. To put these numbers in perspective, this is almost exactly the same level of support as Michael Bloomberg drew as a hypothetical 3rd party candidate over the summer (43-37-12).

Even more impressive, Colbert draws 28% of likely voters aged 18-29 with Giuliani and 31% with Thompson, actually beating the GOP nominee in both cases.

TPM: “Colbert seems to draw most of his support from the GOP column, indicating a real unhappiness among Republican voters — either that, or conservatives who have watched his show really don't get the joke.”

Colbert announced on his show last Tuesday that he was filing paperwork to run in both the Republican and Democratic primaries in South Carolina, stating “After nearly 15 minutes of soul-searching, I have heard the call.” While to Colbert the run may simply be an ingenious way to promote his new book and television show, he is clearly creating some excitement as evidenced by the 829,845 members of his Facebook group and the frenzy it has inspired among the media.

Personally, I think it would be a fascinating social experiment if he were to take his candidacy seriously (within the limits of his character, of course). Imagine an entire campaign premised on sarcasm and scripted by comedy writers—debates, campaign ads, rallies, all with the intent of mocking the other candidates and the American electoral process. But perhaps it makes an even better point to poll 13% —more than Ross Perot got after spending $8 million in 1996—without even trying.


Jenna L said...

It might just be that I have too much time on my hands, but here's something you can do: reload the page and see how many people add into the group each minute. For the last little while, it's been over 100 new members per minute.

While I have no faith that this will (at all) translate to actual political action, it is still a monumental demonstration of something. Just don't know what.

Kipp! said...

Its a demonstration that our generation still has a vague notion of wanting to fuck with the system, just in a way that is amusing, meaningless, not a serious threat to political stability, and doesn't involve getting off the couch or leaving your computer...basically, we want someone else to mess with the system, while we watch. And then not vote anyway.

Jenna L said...

It passed a million. Love it.