Okay, I can't believe I'm sitting here dissecting this, but I can't quite stop thinking about it. Last night, Stephen Colbert announced his plans to run for president. Thus far, he only intends to run in the state of South Carolina as South Carolina's "favorite son" on both the Republican and Democratic ballots. The NY Times ran a little article today that basically states that, whatever Colbert's ultimate intentions, his television staff is apparently serious about getting him on both the Republican and Democratic ballots.
Colbert could possibly face problems getting on the Democratic ballot, which requires candidates to be approved by the executive council of South Carolina's Democratic Party. Assuming he does get on the ballot, I think he might cause problems for the netroots' "favorite son," Barack Obama, since presumably, Colbert will pull from the internet savvy, young middle class vote that Obama traditionally does well with.
The Republicans don't seem to require candidates to be approved by the party, but they do require a very hefty filing fee. Assuming Colbert pays up (and I wouldn't be surprised if he does) he could easily be on the Republican primary ballot. This is actually more interesting because the Republican primary poll numbers are much tighter. From Rasmussen, Fred Thompson leads Guiliani in South Carolina 24% to 20%. While most of Colbert's supporters are probably Democrats, I think it's possible that Colbert could manage to get a percent or two of the vote in the Republican primary thus throwing South Carolina off kilter. And if Colbert manages to pull from Thompson, Colbert's satircal campaign for president could kill Thompson's campaign.
4 weeks ago