November 1st, 2007
03:21 PM ET
13 years ago

South Carolina Democrats say no to Colbert

Colbert's presidential bid is likely over.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - The South Carolina Democratic Party voted Thursday to keep comedian Stephen Colbert's name off the Democratic Primary ballot, according to Executive Director Joe Werner.

This essentially means that Colbert’s short lived White House run in the Palmetto State will come to an end, because he has said that he would not try to be placed on the Republican Party primary ballot.

The state party's executive council met this afternoon in Columbia to decide which Democratic candidates met the criteria to be placed on the ballot. To be placed on the South Carolina ballot a candidate must demonstrate national viability as well as campaign in the state.

Colbert, who officially filed papers to get on the ballot this morning, lost a roll call vote, 13-3.

Meanwhile, presidential long shots, Rep. Dennis Kucinich and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, made the cut.

State Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler suggested Wednesday that Colbert does not meet the standard of national viability.

"He does not appear to be campaigning to win if he is only running in one state," she said.

Werner confirmed Thursday that viablity was the issue - because Colbert only sought to run in South Carolina and has essentially acknowledged his bid was a joke, the party could not deem him viable.

Full story

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: South Carolina • Stephen Colbert
soundoff (137 Responses)
  1. Ben, San Diego, CA

    Thankfully someone has made some sense in this appalling situation. Why do we need some narcissistic, egocentric idiot running for president when the political system here is already a joke? He may be a funny guy but this is all about boosting his ego by attracting more attention to himself and not caring about serious issues in this country.

    November 1, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. Richard Orlando, FL

    With all due respect to Steven Colbert, I never understood why he was trying to run in just one state and in both primaries. I guess he can get the write-in votes if people want to be funny.

    November 1, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. Tony P. Newark, California

    When will all of you people get it? Stephen Colbert isn't really a Democrat. He's in opposition to the Democratic Party while pretending to be on the ticket; in an effort to splinter the Democrating voting power in S.C. Elected Democratic officials aren't falling for that B.S. Neither should anyone else.....

    November 1, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  4. John, Myrtle Beach

    What a bunch of idiots thinking this was legitimate. Let's not make the process more of a joke than it already is. He's got his own tv show and he can have a mock election or whatever else he wants to do. But leave the real political process up to the big boys, not the infants. I just lost a lot of respect for Colbert. Doubt I will continue watching his tv show.

    November 1, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. Tyler Durden, Orange County, California

    The democrats just made a joke out of themselves from a joke. That is just completely sad. Stephen Colbert should run as an Independent, suits him better.

    November 1, 2007 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. David Leonidas, Highland Park, NJ

    What a giant loser the S.C. Democratic Party is. Right now I'm hating Joe Werner almost as much as I hate our vice president. I hope Colbert wins as a write-in and stick it up their anus.

    November 1, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. Kyle - Austin, TX

    What a crock! Mike Gravel is viable, but Colbert isn't? Colbert was out-polling several of these supposed candidates already! Hey kids, you can be President too...provided you have enough money and can meet easily manipulated, exclusionary guidelines.

    I hope Colbert announces his run as an independent candidate tonight.

    November 1, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. Nicole Wisconsin

    I did the Matrix on the people running. Very few of them matched my views. So I am going to write in Colbert. This whole process is a joke and I am fed up.

    November 1, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. Florida

    This is absurd. The ability to get your name on a ballot should be an incredibly easy one. There shouldn't be any "board" or "group" that decides which names can and cannot be on a ballot.

    Colbert should submit his name nationwide now and actively run and actually steal votes from other candidates.

    November 1, 2007 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. Canada

    The stuffyness of the old boys club in politics is sickening, as it seems clear that if they could see beyond his satire, they would see how he is more along the lines of what the Democratic party was before Bill Clinton was co-opted. However, it is too bad that the overwhelming support for Colbert is over-looked, as he would be the only real Candidate who wouldn't keel over to the ruling corporations. National viability seems to mean viability for the Democratic (and obviously Republican party's) boss, the purchasers of the campaign, the ones whose funds place them in office. It's too bad that the Fresh breath of American politics – the honorable Stephen Colbert- was stomped out by the one dimensional party of the Democratics. Run as an independant Colbert, we all love ya.

    November 1, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. Steve, Landing, NJ

    I'd love to see him run as an Independent. A joke he may be, but I'd rather see a candidate that's dishonest to make people laugh than one who's dishonest to make people rich. I wouldn't expect him to win, but he could continue Perot's trend of making third-party candidacy nationally viable, and hopefully continue Perot's other trend of pulling independents' support from the Republicans. (National polling, bizarrely, indicates that in a three-way race between Clinton, Giuliani, and Colbert, Colbert would reach about 12% of the vote, most of it coming from Giuliani.)

    November 1, 2007 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. Salita

    I agree with the decision. Colbert did say it was a joke.

    November 1, 2007 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. Ryan, Dublin CA

    Booooooo! Write-in!

    November 1, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. Canada

    Colbert to change the one dimensional, two party system of American Politics. Start as an independant, then go to on to form your own party Colbert- The National Party of Truthiness seems to be a good fit.

    November 1, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. Kevin, Princeton, NJ

    Oh NO! Now no one's going to steal the young vote from... well, nobody.

    Colbert '08! Until someone finally decides to stop spouting their dribble and listen to the people. Politicians have to stop being politicians and actually be the representatitives of the American people.

    November 1, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. Disgusted, Austin, TX

    A sad day for the concept of Democracy.
    Thank goodness for the independent ticket or write-in.
    He ranked much higher as an independent than as a Democrat anyways.

    November 1, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. Steve Nading, Iowa City, IA

    Dems, don't write him in. Let the Republicans do that.

    November 1, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. Daniel, NY

    Remember: Rasmussen did a poll of a three-way Hillary-Giuliani-Colbert and found Colbert in double-digits nationally! Link.

    November 1, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. Mikhael, Winooski, VT

    WRITE HIM IN!!! Make a difference!

    November 1, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. Steve, Landing, NJ

    I really don't understand all this outrage about Colbert's candidacy. Is it a joke? Certainly. Does it hurt anyone? Certainly not. South Carolina is unlikely to make-or-break any candidate (coming after Iowa, NH, etc, and before Super Tuesday), and polling suggests Colbert would draw most support from unlikely-voters and independents anyway, not the primary-voting Democratic base. As for making a joke out of the US political process, the horse is out of the barn on that one, guys. What could be funnier than touting "one man, one vote" democracy while sticking to the anti-democratic Electoral College, anyway?

    November 1, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. Matt, La Crosse Wisconsin

    This would make perfect sense to me if Mike Gravel hadn't made the ticket. Gravel's run is a much bigger joke than Colbert's. The man is SENILE.

    November 1, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. Jon B Olathe KS

    Absolutly disgusting that he would not be allowed to run...

    November 1, 2007 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. nealteel

    Our government is a joke and that is the point he was trying prove. He is smarter than any of the democrats up for election because he understands the ridiculousness behind the whole process. I agree with people's reservations about his claims that it is all a joke, but he has more credibility than these people. (Once again, the people have a say in this democratic nation we live in!)

    November 1, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. Houston, San Marcos, TX

    As a Democrat, I don't want somebody to take away votes from "real" candidates, be they Democrat or Republican. Perot might have been a fringe candidate, but at least he took it seriously. Colbert running would be like when Kinky Friedman ran for governor of Texas. Idiots voted for him, and we got stuck with Rick Perry again.

    November 1, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  25. Mark, Shreveport, La

    Well, at least the democrats won't have to worry about upsetting their buddies and suck-ups Colbert and John Stewart. I'm sure they'll make some lame joke at the democrats' expense before turning thier full satire on the President and GOP candidates.

    I'm suprised the democrats turned on one of their biggest supporters, though. What's next, cancelling appearances on the Daily Show?

    November 1, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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