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Sign The End Is Nigh For Huntsman? In Hypothetical, Colbert Beats Him In S.C.

After a third-place finish in New Hampshire, the state he poured his heart and soul into and placed all his bets on, Jon Huntsman doesn't need any more bad news. Just a cursory look at the headlines, and you find they're mostly talking about the end. Even the Christian Science Monitor doesn't mince words, asking, "Is Jon Huntsman toast?"

Well, Public Policy Polling has a bit more salt to rub in his wounds. In a poll released yesterday, they found that if the Comedy Central comedian Stephen Colbert was given his wish and allowed on the South Carolina ballott, he would beat Huntsman by one percentage point.

This would be the breakdown: Mitt Romney wins with 27 percent of the vote; Newt Gingrich gets 23 percent; Rick Santorum gets 18 percent; Ron Paul 8 percent; Rick Perry 7 percent; Colbert 5 percent; Huntsman 4 percent and Buddy Roemer 1 percent.

Granted, the people at PPP say, Colbert would have drawn a considerable number of Democratic voters in the state's open primary.

"That actually leads to a serious question though — if Colbert had really been on the ballot would enough Democrats have gone out to vote for him to put him in the top tier of Republican candidates? My guess is if he'd really put some effort into it he could have won 10-15 percent of the vote and nabbed himself a 4th place finish there," they write.

Oh and for the record, the poll also asked South Carolina voters to weigh in on the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision and found that "just 33% of likely voters think that 'corporations are people' compared to 67% who think that 'only people are people.'"

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.