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. Doug, New Jersey

    There is not one single conservative in this country who thinks Colbert is serious because the character he is playing is not remotely based off of any living person in this country.

    He plays a fake conservative that is designed to be everything liberal democrats dishonestly say conservatives are. What is funny is that if someone on the right were to play a fake liberal on TV in the manor that Colbert plays a fake conservative, that person would be charged with a hate crime and censored.

    Colbert is smart, the act that he is playing doesn’t have to be funny, it just has to appeal to the average hateful, ignorant, dishonest liberal democrat. Almost every single lib democrat in this nation NOW has a heart filled with anger and hate, it is capitalism at its finest to make money off of them, just ask Michael Moore.

    October 18, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  2. Larry Daugherty Owensboro Ky.

    Why not? We have A clown in the White House! Why not A comedian.

    October 18, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. Nathan, Bronx

    I hope Colbert gets both tickets!

    October 18, 2007 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  4. Penelopi Wentworth, Louisville, KY


    It is time to stop all this silliness and begin to think seriously about who you want to be the next "leader of the free world." If Stephen J. Colbert becomes President of the USA, no one in the world will ever pass up the opportunity to watch the State of the Union Address. A Colbert presidency would greatly improve our international image. Just think, we could say that the last 8 years were just a joke and NOW we're serious! Vote for Stephen Colbert or stop calling yourself an American!

    October 18, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. DJ, Atlanta

    Mr. Colbert was also born in Washington D.C., the birthplace of our nation, perhaps the best qualification for president. Colbert '08!

    Um...yeah...the best qualification for president is the birthplace location of the candidate.

    The tragedy of American Politics is that there are so many appallingly stupid people participating…

    This. Case in point throughout this comment thread...voting should no longer be a right, but a privilege that people should have to earn with more qualifications than a pulse and SSN...

    October 18, 2007 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. Pittsburgh, PA

    Yikes, people. Don't think Stephen can win, or that he's not serious? Well, he isn't serious! And I'm sure Stephen doesn't think he'll win either.

    I mean, it's not even him that's running, it's his character. Get a sense of humor!

    October 18, 2007 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. Devon, Hollywood CA

    If former body builders, pro wrestlers and B-movie actors can become governors, why not this guy? And at least he's familiar with the issues - more than we can say for our current Commander in Chief. In that sense, he could be over qualified.

    October 18, 2007 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  8. Don S., Lake Stevens WA

    Didn't we already see this movie last year? Starring Robun Williams, Christopher Walken and Louis Black?

    Watching curiously from the upper left corner, and wondering how the Colbert Conspioracy would do up here in the land of lattes and sandals with socks...

    October 18, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. Alicia Vitello, Jaffrey NH

    Ummm...didn't I see this in a movie before? This is absurd! There are already too many people running...This isn't a popularity contest...it's about who really qualifies for the job!

    October 18, 2007 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  10. Doug, New Jersey

    Those are 5 great words,


    I would like for every liberal democrat to remember those 5 words the next time they go into convulsions over a joke that Coulter, Malkin, Hannity, or O'Reilly says.

    Contrary to blue state belief, ideology is not the deciding factor if something is funny or not. If you need to take someone’s words out of context to make them say what you want them to say, you then become the joke yourself.

    October 18, 2007 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  11. Tyler, New York, NY

    I'd vote for him if he dropped the act took it seriously. Problem is he won't. He doesn't break act on camera and the debates would be a joke. Also, he has no chance running for both parties. If he drops the act, picks a side and talks issues he'd get my vote.

    October 18, 2007 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  12. Noelle - Cleveland, OH

    He is incredibly intelligent and hasn't sold his soul to big money – that makes him my choice, if only by default.
    Not one "real" canidate will want to be on the other side of a debate with him. He's too quick – he would bury them.

    October 18, 2007 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. Barb Reynolds, US Citizen - Ontario Canada

    Regardless of his persona he inhabits or his real life, his intelligence, his insightfulness and his obvious ability to assemble a support team that has a firm basis in reality would qualify him for any political post far above any of the current administration "intelligentsia"

    October 18, 2007 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. Karen, Orlando

    You really are taking this way too seriously.It's interesting that you claim Democrats are all hateful but in the same sentence you call us ignorant and dishonest,hhhmm now who's being hateful????
    If there was a comedian who was truly a conservative at heart but portrayed a far left wing liberal I would think it was hilarious. You see Doug, most people are moderates whether they're Republican's or Democrats and we can find humor in anyone who mocks the extremist on either side.
    Remember Doug that smart and stupid live on both sides of the political aisle. You really show your ignorance when you proclaim that ALL Democrats are dishonest and ignorant. I know plenty of Republicans that are very intelligent and wonderful people.

    October 18, 2007 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. Dave Ch


    You few nay sayers need to get your heads out of the sand. I've been in politics and it works the same way BRITNEY SPEARS got on the radio. They pick a face, an empty shell, a person to fill a suit who is OWNED BY THE PARTY and OWNED BY SPECIAL INTERESTS. Out of touch...bought and sold...following the party line.


    October 18, 2007 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  16. Mark, Cleveland

    ... suddenly I care again.

    Colbert/Putin '08!!

    October 18, 2007 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  17. Dave C


    October 18, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  18. looneytune

    Hey..., I'm thinking Colbert/Cheney 08.
    That way Stephen can use his comedic genus to lour Osama out so Dick can shoot him.

    October 18, 2007 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. Erik

    Hey CNN,

    Bush is talking about World War 3 with Iran. Clinton voted for the Iraq war and gave authority to Bush to go into Iran. Instead of talking about a comedian can this be discussed. Another world war will be devastating especially with nuclear weapons. I like Colbert but I think a potential world war and the politicians who vote to authorize it is more important to discuss than talking about a fake run for the White House. We need to take things more seriously don't you think?

    October 18, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. Marcia Ramsey New Jersey

    Mr. Colbert was also born in Washington D.C., the birthplace of our nation, perhaps the best qualification for president.

    Huh???? Does this guy actually believe that Washington DC was the birthplace of our nation? It didn't even exist at that time. NYC was the first capital. DC was carved from existing states to become the capital.

    October 18, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  21. Steve, Lyons, CO

    "i could see democrats being stupid enough to think he's a real person and vote for him, but republicans are smarter..."

    Republicans are so smart, they continue to support President Howdy Doody and his corporate criminal and traitor V.P. Cheney, despite portions of the Constitution being turned off, despite the fact the Bushies have now guaranteed that any American soldiers held by the "other side" can be tortured like Bush does...

    I could go on all day.

    Yeah, boy, are you smart.

    October 18, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  22. Mike, Lansing, MI

    Colbert is probably the best thing that has happened to America. America will be better off than Hillary's authoritarian government; and what republicans are running again?

    October 18, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. Jacob B. Portland, OR

    Wouldn't it be nice if Stephen attended the debates? As a democrat he could just be himself, and as a republican candidate he can point out just how big of a joke those guys really are. And maybe piss off some of the other republican candidates in the process.

    October 18, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  24. L Crowe, Norcross GA

    This is a distraction. The world and this country is in shambles and this is what CNN thinks we want to see and hear about. What has happened to CNN? Wake Up! Please!

    October 18, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. Adam, Boston MA

    ok, but on a serious note... to get on the Democratic ballot it only takes $2,500 (or enough signatures), but for Republicans it costs $35,000??? And that's just in South Carolina.

    So not only is Republican party weeding out all but the rich candidates, but they're collecting this cash nationwide, and presumably using it in the general election campaign!

    very interesting.

    October 18, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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