Stephen Colbert’s stunt to win South Carolina primary fails

By Daniel S Levine,
Herman Cain received just 1.1 percent of the vote.
Stephen Colbert meets with members of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to discuss his proposal to establish an independent expenditure-only political committee and Draft Advisory Opinion 2011-12 in Washington June 30, 2011. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS ENTERTAINMENT)

The Colbert Report host Stephen Colbert stayed in the news in the week heading into Saturday’s South Carolina Republican primary, especially after a poll found that the South Carolina native had more support than one of the less popular candidates. Colbert decided to hand over control of his Super PAC to The Daily Show host Jon Stewart and start an exploratory committee before deciding to officially run for the Republican nomination. Reality caught up with Colbert Saturday night, though, as his plan to win came to a disappointing end.

The trouble began when Colbert discovered that he could not get his name on the ballot in time for the primary, so he enlisted the help of former candidate Herman Cain, whose name was still on the ballot, even though he dropped out months ago. According to E! News, Colbert urged his fans that a vote for Cain would help him become "president of the United States of South Carolina."

Politico reported that the plan had a flaw from the beginning, as many of the college students who came out to Colbert’s Cain rally saw it as a gag from the start. “I can’t imagine people would [actually vote for Cain], but I never underestimate that there are some people who did,” University of South Carolina law student Steve Kropski told the site.

Former republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks at the Southern GOP Leadership Conference in Charleston, South Carolina on January 19, 2012. South Carolina will hold it's primary on Saturday, January 21. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

Chetna Mehra, a supporter of Texas Congressman Ron Paul, told Politico, “Some people might have just taken it seriously because they don’t care about any other candidates, they don’t care to vote for any of them....But hopefully they didn’t take it seriously.”

This sentiment was reflected by the final results. Entertainment Weekly reports that Cain only received 1.1 percent of the vote. Cain actually received more votes than any other candidate who had already dropped out that was still on the ballot, including Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann.

Cain is ready to move on from his loss and will speak at a rally for Republicans in Orlando, a little over a week before the Florida primary on Jan. 31.

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