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FILE - In this May 27, 2009 file photo, Stephen Colbert poses for a portrait in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, file)
America cannot do better than Sen. Stephen Colbert (R-SC)
PPP went into the field over the weekend with a quickie poll after South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint announced late last week that he'd be quitting Congress to spend more time with the Heritage Foundation. (I mean, who wouldn't, right?) In turn, that means GOP Gov. Nikki Haley gets to tap a temporary replacement for DeMint, but whom shall it be? Tom Jensen threw a whole bunch of names into the hopper, called up a bunch of Palmetto State voters, and said "Tell us who ya like." And the leading contender?

Ladies and gentlemen: I present to you Mr. Stephen Colbert. Now, the truthy-telling talkshow host has dabbled in politics before, hosting rallies in Washington, mucking about with his own Super PAC, and even running for president in his native South Carolina. But would Colbert suit Republicans, who of course want to replace the conservative DeMint with another right-winger?

I think so! Stephen Colbert once described Stephen Colbert as a "well-intentioned, poorly informed, high-status idiot," which if anything makes him overqualified to serve in the Senate as a Republican. But hey, 20 percent of South Carolinians want to see him succeed DeMint—a clear majority, as I'm sure Colbert would understand it.

Recognizing that Colbert might not want to give up his current reality-changing megaphone, though, Tom Jensen tested a few different possible lineups for Haley to choose from. Here's how it all falls out:

Stephen Colbert 20 J. Sanford 17 Scott 19
Tim Scott 15 Scott 16 McMaster 17
Trey Gowdy 14 McMaster 13 Gowdy 15
Jenny Sanford 11 Gowdy 12 Wilson 8
Henry McMaster 8 M. Sanford 9 Mulvaney 7
Mark Sanford 8 Wilson 7 Duncan 6
Jeff Duncan 5 Duncan 6 Other/undecided 28
Joe Wilson 5 Mulvaney 5
Mick Mulvaney 4 Other/undecided 14
Other/undecided 11

As you can see, if Colbert decides to stay in New York City rather than return home, his supporters help boost the cause of ... Jenny Sanford, the former wife of former Gov. Mark Sanford, who himself remarkably still has a few adherents. If you figure that Gov. Haley has no desire to welcome the Sanford sideshow back into town from its current road tour on the Appalachian Trail, and if you also assume she can't handle Colbert's unique brand of truthiness, column three gets you down to the boring "serious" names. All of them are current members of the House (except for McMaster, who is a former state attorney general). Tim Scott, who would be the only African American in the Senate were Haley to tap him, comes out on top.

But will Haley care about any of this? She gets to make the choice free and clear, though of course, there are always political considerations. As Jensen points out, she's one of the most unpopular governors in the nation, with a 42-49 job approval rating—good for just 35th place out of 43 sitting governors PPP has tested. What better way, as Tom says, to restore her standing than to appoint the man 100 percent of 20 percent of South Carolina voters choose? If Stephen Colbert am America, then so can Haley!

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:34 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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