Given the choice between the list of potential Republicans South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley could appoint to Sen. Jim DeMint’s soon to be vacant seat and comedian Stephen Colbert, Obama voters in the Palmetto State would rather see Haley select the late-night television talk show host, reports Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling (PPP).
In a just released PPP survey taken over the weekend, Colbert, a South Carolina native, walked away with 20 percent of the vote. His next closest competition was Rep.Tim Scott, who polled at 15 percent, followed by Rep. Trey Gowdy at 14 percent, Jenny Sanford at 11 percent, former S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster and former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford at eight percent respectively, Reps. Jeff Duncan and Joe Wilson both at five percent and Rep. Mick Mulvaney at four percent.
However, as PPP notes, Colbert’s popularity for the seat is fueled almost entirely by Democrats and Independents who were polled. Of the respondents who said they favored Colbert for the seat, 37 percent said they voted for Barack Obama in the 2012 election; only six percent said they were Romney supporters. Likewise, only 14 percent of self-identified Republicans said they viewed Colbert favorably, while 44 percent of Democrats and 38 percent of Independents said they had favorable opinons of the faux newscaster who plays a right-wing Republican on his show.
Colbert memorably attempted to crash the South Carolina Republican primary earlier this year, encouraging fans in the state to vote for Herman Cain, who was no longer in the race but was still on the ballot, in order to vote for him as he was not on the ballot. For that reason, among other obvious reasons, Haley would never appoint Colbert anyway, even if he were popular with Republicans. Haley kindly killed any hope fans of Colbert’s show, “The Colbert Report,” had that she would consider on her Facebook page Friday, joking that she would not consider Colbert because he didn’t know what the state drink was (a throwback to her appearance on the show in April).
Ignoring the whims of Obama supporters and Colbert fans, Rep. Tim Scott came out on top with 22 percent of the vote to Rep. Trey Gowdy’s 21 percent when only the opinions of Republicans were considered. And when Colbert was taken out of consideration altogether, Scott widened his lead to 23 percent to Gowdy’s 19 percent.
One interesting tidbit PPP found was that former South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford is still very popular among members of both parties and “really could probably get elected to office if she wanted to.”
“44% of voters have a favorable opinion of her to only 25% with a negative one and her popularity holds true across party lines. She’s at 48/21 with Republicans, 43/31 with Democrats, and 39/26 with independents.”
Her ex-husband on the other hand, well, it’s clear that the people of South Carolina are still not over the fact that he lied about hiking the Appalachian Trail when he was really visiting his Argentinian mistress, whom he is now engaged to. PPP notes that 53 percent of voters have a negative view of Sanford.
“His prospects for a comeback to electoral office don’t look very bright,” states on it’s blog.