COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) – Stephen Colbert is the favored choice among South Carolinians to replace Jim DeMint in the U.S. Senate, according to a poll released Monday by Public Policy Polling.
Colbert leads the man who many think will get the appointment, freshman Congressman Tim Scott by five points.
The names used in the survey list Colbert at 20 percent, Scott at 15 percent, Trey Gowdy at 14 percent, Jenny Sanford at 11 percent, Henry McMaster and Mark Sanford at 8 percent, Jeff Duncan and Joe Wilson at 5 percent and Mick Mulvaney at 4 percent.
Democrats and independents most favor Colbert, according to PPP. Survey results show 32 percent of Democrats said they would like to see Colbert appointed followed by Jenny Sanford at 19 percent.
No one else polled in the double digits, the polling agency found.
Among independents, Colbert has a 15 point lead over Tim Scott, 28-13. Jenny Sanford has 12 percent and Gowdy has 10 percent among independents, PPP found.
On Friday, Gov. Nikki Haley responded to Colbert's campaign to be appointed to the Senate in a Facebook post, calling out his lack of knowledge as a disqualifier for the office.
PPP found that if Haley's post is taken seriously and it does keep Colbert from the appointment, then voters said their top choice is Jenny Sanford (17 percent), Scott, (16 percent), McMaster, (13 percent), Gowdy (12 percent), Mark Sanford (9 percent), Wilson (7 percent), Duncan (6 percent) and Mulvaney.
With Colbert out of the mix, Jenny Sanford becomes the top choice among both Democrats and independents. She also polls particularly well among women, 24 percent of whom think she should be appointed, PPP found.
Among Republicans, Scott is the top choice whether Colbert is included or removed from consideration.
Scott holds a one-point lead over Gowdy when Colbert and the Sanfords are removed from consideration. He holds a four-point lead over Gowdy with McMaster and Mark Sanford at 11 percent when only Colbert is removed.