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Stephen Colbert Leads Jon Huntsman In South Carolina Poll

First Posted: 01/10/2012 1:57 pm Updated: 01/10/2012 3:50 pm

UPDATE: During an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, Huntsman responded to the poll results.

“Well when I was on his show recently he promised me the Colbert bump," Huntsman said. "I think we are getting that here in New Hampshire, now I am going to be looking for the Colbert bump in South Carolina."

Huntsman appeared on "The Colbert Report" in October.

PREVIOUSLY: A new PPP poll shows Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert edging out Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman in South Carolina's upcoming GOP primary, despite the fact that the comedian is not actually on the ballot.

The new poll, released on Tuesday, shows five percent of primary voters in the Palmetto State picking Colbert, while four percent choose Huntsman. Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer also trailed Colbert with just one percent of primary voters supporting him.

"Even if Huntsman finishes second in New Hampshire tonight it doesn't speak well for his prospects down the line that he's running behind Stephen Colbert," Tom Jensen of PPP wrote on the polling organization's blog.

As The Atlantic Wire points out, it is unclear whether voters intended to vote for Colbert's conservative TV persona or the real Stephen Colbert.

The 'Colbert Report' star finished sixth overall in the poll. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney received 27 percent, followed by Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 23 percent, Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum with 18 percent, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) with eight percent and Texas Gov. Rick Perry with 7 percent.

South Carolina has an open primary, where Democrats are allowed to vote in the Republican nominating contest.

"Colbert's key, had he been allowed on the ballot, would have been to draw out Democratic voters in the state's open primary," Jensen wrote.

He continued, "My guess is if he'd really put some effort into it he could have won 10-15% of the vote and nabbed himself a fourth place finish there."

PPP was inspired to include Colbert in the poll after the television personality, a South Carolina native, attempted to buy the primary's naming rights in December with funds from his political action committee, Colbert Super PAC. Colbert also attempted to get on the state's Democratic primary ballot in 2008, but party officials voted him down.

Video produced by Hunter Stuart

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Filed by Mollie Reilly  |