The comedy of polling

Dec. 11, 2012 @ 05:21 AM

The country — or, at least South Carolina — was rocked last week when U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint decided to resign his seat in favor of working in the private sector.

While that might have been shocking to our neighbors to the south, what came out on Monday might have just hit the comedy line.

A Public Policy Polling (PPP) poll released on Monday suggested that comedian and television host Stephen Colbert was the top choice among South Carolina voters to replace DeMint.

Colbert, host of the Comedy Central show, "The Colbert Report" which is a comedic look at the news around the world, received 20 percent of the vote among those polled. That was followed by the 15 percent showing from Rep. Tim Scott.

The poll also indicated that 32 percent of Democrats would favor the appointment and 28 percent of independents. Republicans, on the other hand, are not so quick to drink the Colbert Kool-Aid.

Now, I have covered politics for a bit now and I'm really not sure what to make of this poll.

First, you have to take into consideration that this is just a poll.

It is just a guideline and, whether the numbers accurately reflect the views of the entire State of South Carolina is hard to determine.

A bigger question may be if Gov. Nikki Haley does choose to put Colbert in DeMint's seat, what does the view of South Carolina become?

Odds are, that view will not be a very good one.

Granted, I am sure that Colbert can bring something to the table. If nothing else, he can be used for comedic filibuster that would leave the U.S. Senate chamber in stitches.

But, is he the best choice for the state?

The other question is who would be a better choice?

If not Scott, there is Rep. Trey Gowdy or former Gov. Mark Sanford's ex-wife Jenny Sanford.

The poll suggested that, if Colbert was taken out of the mix, it would be Jenny Sanford that would be the most favorable among voters polled.

Regardless, it should be an interesting next week or so for Haley, who will be tasked with making the appointment.

The poll indicated that she only has a 42-percent approval rating among voters in South Carolina.

But, again, it's just a poll. Take it for what you will.


Matthew Clark is the Editor of The Daily Courier. He can be reached at 828-202-2927 or emailed at Follow him on Twitter @UMass_MClark