October 18th, 2007
08:50 AM ET
10 years ago

Can Colbert actually get on the ballot?

Watch Colbert discuss his political aspirations with CNN's Larry King.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - He made a splash with a surprise presidential announcement Tuesday, but can Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert actually get on the primary ballots in South Carolina?

The answer is yes, although it could get pricey.

The fee to be considered for the Democratic ballot is $2,500, while it’s a hefty $35,000 to gain admittance into the Republican primary.

Colbert has indicated he will seek to appear on each party's ballot and the South Carolina Secretary of State's office confirms a candidate is allowed to run in both primaries.

But it remains to be seen if the State Democratic Party's Executive Committee, whose approval Colbert needs to get on their ballot, will vote to certify a candidate who is also running in the GOP race. The rules state the candidate must be "actively campaigning" for the Democratic primary.

Meanwhile, the State Republican Party does not require an executive committee vote and would not prevent a candidate from appearing on both ballots.

Colbert has until the end of this month to file with both parties. The Republicans are holding their primary January 19, while the Democrats will vote January 26.

The Palmetto State is one of four lead-off primary states that will likely play a crucial role in determining the eventual nominee of both parties.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: South Carolina • Stephen Colbert
soundoff (169 Responses)
  1. Tim, Chicago IL

    If Stephen Colbert ran for president, I'm not sure who he'd be running as. Because in real life he's totally a liberal, but he's hardcore conservative on his show. It would def. be interesting to see.

    October 17, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  2. laurinda,ny

    Yeah the Democratic Executive Comm. should certify him all right!

    October 17, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. America needs this Ohio

    I can only hope he gets both parties tickets.The very least he could do is make both parties realize just how out of touch they are with the american people.I hope he wins both primaries,it would perhaps be the best wake up call for politicians.And if he wins(I will be voting for him)perhaps he will decide to realize he is what America needs and run in every state.

    October 17, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. Wayne Walker, Springfield, VA

    Mr. Colbert is as stupid as I have suspected. Nothing else to say, he is not worth the words or the time.

    October 17, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. Randy Hurst

    Steven, on your spiral to oblivion please say hello to Pat Paulson. Who will be your running mate–Donald Trump ? I can hardly wait for your slogan, "Let's get together on Wednesday and trade underwear." (But, you are still better than Bush).

    October 17, 2007 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  6. Sam Indiana

    Are you kidding me? Why delete comments that are positive? Are you censoring the truth?

    October 17, 2007 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Steven, Pittsburg, KS

    If this guy is actually serious, he has my vote. I would gladly campaign for him.

    October 17, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  8. Bill, Winesburg OH


    It's a dangerous time for a distraction though.

    Isn't it a little scary that so many people would seriously consider voting for him, myself included?

    Before you waste your vote on a make-believe campaign because of no faith in any of the other candidates, do yourself a favor and research Ron Paul.

    October 17, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  9. Mike, Cleveland, OH

    Wayne Walker, Springfield, VA

    Where is your sense of humor? Stop being serious about politics for once and learn to laugh.

    October 17, 2007 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  10. Charles, Nashville, TN

    The answer is yes, although it could get pricey [$35,000]. Actually, it is laughably low cost for Colbert, and well worth the publicity that it would buy him and his TV show.

    Quite frankly, I think he should go for it. I don't think it demeans the primary process anymore than having Mike Gravel or Alan Keyes, who are vanity candidates in their respective parties, take up time on televised debates. I doubt Colbert would want to do that, and the other candidates would be unanimously (fearful) against having Colbert appear with them.

    The political process survived candidate Pat Paulsen on the Smothers Brothers TV show in 1968, and will survive Colbert in 2008.

    October 17, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  11. SSG Joseph T. Tobin

    South Carolina will see the end of Bears. That's right, run bear, run.
    And so should Stephen Colbert. Run, Stephen, run. Lest the bears get us!
    My only concern would be my addiction to cspan would at least double during a state of the union address. Double isn't right. I mean 2 x 0 = 0 still. How about it would significantly improve. Anywhooo, If stephen can come up with the monies (borrow from Jon, that's how you got yer start anyway, right? Just tell Jon to cut back on the philipino hookers and cubans...for a week...that should cover the $37,500, plus one drink minimum; entry fee to the free worlds largest freak show)I feel Stephen would bring more than mere truthiness. He would bring more than Reaganess. He would bring philipino hookers and cubans to all those who vote for him!

    October 17, 2007 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. S.C , Boston, MA

    Someone's a Non it Getter, Commie and Bear Lover.

    prepare to be overwhelmed by the power of the Heroes.

    October 17, 2007 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  13. Michael Lancer, West Seneca, NY

    "on both party's ballots"?

    Someone needs to learn how to use the apostrophe properly.

    October 17, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  14. John, Newport News, VA

    Sadly, delegates from both parties will never vote for Stephen in their primaries, regardless of his showing in South Carolina.

    October 17, 2007 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  15. Jon Stewart, Los Angeles CA

    Stephen makes the jokes, Bush is the joke. The lesser evil.

    October 17, 2007 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  16. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    I agree with the poster who said it's too dangerous these days for a funny distraction such as this. This is similar to Bozo the Clown running back in '80, or Alfred Neuman from the great Mad Magazine "running".

    I love Colbert. I don't think Wayne knows who he is. Colbert is more brilliant than most of the fools running for both parties (especially the GOP), but what would he do if he ACTUALLY won the nomination!?

    October 17, 2007 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  17. Scarlett GVC Tejas

    Of course people will vote for the Colbert, they get to vote for your same ol' two party constipated politicians. You only get to vote for a knowledgeable comedian one in a lifetime I bet. This country needs to laugh at a president that's meaning to be funny, not one that is hilarious because he can't complete a grammatically correct sentence.

    October 17, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  18. ronnie - knoxville, tn.

    i could see democrats being stupid enough to think he's a real person and vote for him, but republicans are smarter, so it won't deflect any votes there. So, i say , GO COLBERT !

    October 17, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  19. Cynthia D., Greer, SC

    Interesting that I am the first South Carolinian to respond...

    Call me a dreamer, but maybe South Carolinians would not fall for Stephen Colbert as an actual candidate. Maybe this is a clever ploy to get more voters (whether from the Palmetto State or not) interested in the process. Maybe that's why our "favorite son" wants to be on both tickets. If we are lucky, maybe it will work!

    October 17, 2007 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  20. Steve - Peoria, IL

    I dont think conservatives know Colbert very well. People who watch his show are libs. So how is this helping their party ?

    October 17, 2007 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  21. Tracy, Chicago, IL

    Although I find this funny and it would make this election more entertaining but I believe he was born in Canada (not 100% sure)which means he can't legally run for president in the US. Sorry folks.....

    October 17, 2007 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  22. michelle, pittsburgh, PA

    Wow, this is actually an article at CNN. He was joking.

    This was a nice little break from Britney but you should probably go back now.

    October 17, 2007 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  23. Steve - Peoria, IL

    true, we should "think outside the box" and not necessarily jump on to the party bandwagon; but if we're interested in finding an independent, and all we can come up with is a comedy show host, what does that say about us voters?

    October 17, 2007 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  24. Sean, Albany, NY

    The sad part is that Colbert seems much more genuine than the cardboard cutouts that both the GOP and Dems have put out there for our consideration.

    October 17, 2007 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  25. Christian, Tampa FL

    One thing ought to be noted: Stephen Colbert has a large and dedicated fan base and a natural talent for satire and insult redirection. When the inevitable political attacks on him occur, in other words, when some people no longer see it as funny, he will easily be able to convert their meanness into humor for his own benefit.

    The power of this skill, especially amongst an electorate that desperately needs a good laugh, should NOT be underestimated.

    October 17, 2007 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
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