On a side note from Newt Gingrich’s surprising come-from-behind South Carolina victory, satirist Stephen Colbert seems to have scored some minor points for his surrogate campaign. Colbert was not able to get on the South Carolina ballot so he asked people to vote for Herman Cain, who was on the ballot but withdrew in December. Colbert ran a campaign filled with satire by using his Super PAC (run by Jon Stewart) to poke fun at the Supreme Court decision ruling declaring corporations as people with unrestricted political spending power.
So you might wonder just how well did Colbert do with Cain as his surrogate? This is actually quite easy to tell. Cain was out of the race by both Iowa and New Hampshire. Those results can be used as gauges.
In Iowa, Cain received just 45 votes. That beat former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer’s 17, but trailed “No Preference” with 147 or 0.1%. Even Jon Huntsman, who did not contest Iowa, looked impressive compared to Cain. Huntsman received 739 votes or slightly over half a percent with 0.6%.
In New Hampshire, Cain did a little better with 160 votes and close to 0.1%. Michele Bachmann was out of the race by then, but she received 349 votes, which placed her slightly above 0.1%.
A tenth of a percentage is an infinitesimal amount. There were over 200,000 votes cast in New Hampshire. Only the hardest of the hardcore supporters, or the slightly deranged ones, support a candidate in these cases. Since Cain did slightly better in New Hampshire’s primary instead of Iowa’s caucus, he should receive about .01% again or roughly what Michele Bachmann receives in South Carolina. Jon Huntsman should also be a barometer as he stopped his campaign in New Hampshire, but we don’t know what level the hardcore Huntsman supporters are at, so he can only be a loose measurement. Rick Perry had also dropped from the race, but that was only days ago and after running a hard campaign. Perry should register a bit above the previously dropped-out candidates.
In South Carolina, Bachmann received 494 votes or that regular 0.1%. That is where we would expect her to be. Huntsman did slightly better, which is a bit surprising. He had 1,161 votes or 0.2%. Rick Perry had 2,494 or 0.4%.
Looking at those results, Herman Cain should end up around Bachmann, maybe slightly below. It seems that the further away a candidate’s resignation was from the primary, then the worse the candidate did.
However, Herman Cain received a whopping 6,324 votes or 1.1%. The only reasonable explanation is that Colbert was good for about 6,000 votes. It wasn’t enough to get a delegate or even get significant attention. Nevertheless, putting together a presidential race, even a satirical one, in a short time span and getting people to vote for the candidate is remarkable. It is also a bit scary that 6,000 people are so fed up with the candidates that they want to register their disapproval with a candidate who has more in common with a clown than a politician.
With results like that, Colbert should think about taking his campaign national. He could become the new “No Preference” choice. There is no telling what he would poll if his name really was on the ballot.