The Marist Poll teams up with Stephen Colbert to help promote A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow
According to a survey, 18 percent of South Carolina’s potential Republic primary electorate is “at least kind of somewhat likely” to vote for political satirist and funny man Stephen Colbert as the candidate for the upcoming Republican primaries. Fourteen percent of this electorate would be more likely to vote for Colbert if he were a woman named Stephanie Colbert.
To some this survey may come across as just another fictionalized political spoof on Colbert’s highly popular mock-news show “The Colbert Report,” but these are in fact real statistics that were gathered by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in a recent poll that was done for Colbert’s “super PAC” campaign called For A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow.
MIPO, also referred to as the Marist Poll, has worked with high profile news organizations such as NBC news and has received nation wide recognition for being the first college poll that a network has asked to teamed up with. However this is the first time that the poll has been approached to conduct a survey for a celebrity.
The Marist Poll has teamed up with networks such as NBC to do political polls and is now working with The Colbert report
Dr. Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion and a professor of political science at the college said that the Marist Poll was first approached by Colbert’s people while covering the New Hampshire primary in early January. MIPO was partnering with NBC at the time and had been receiving an enormous amount of public visibility. People working for Colbert saw the work that MIPO was doing for NBC and expressed an interest in doing a poll that focused on the South Carolina primaries.
Michael Conte, a senior who works as a polling assistant at the Marist Poll said that the questions that the survey asked were for a piece that Colbert’s show was doing about him running for “President of the United States of South Carolina.”
“From watching his show I know the over all piece was that Colbert wanted to hypothetically put himself on the GOP primary ballot in South Carolina but because he had missed the deadline to show up he used our poll to find out what percentage of people in South Carolina would vote for him,” said Conte.
According to Miringoff the survey questions that Colbert and his writers provided the poll were very comical and witty.
“Everyone thinks they are funny until they talk to people working for Colbert and then they realize how funny they are not,” said Miringoff with a laugh. “You and I could be very funny with these people writing for us.”
However, despite the humorous nature of the survey questions, Miringoff said that the poll was legitimate and done in a very straight manner. The only difference between this poll and the polls that MIPO generally conducts is that this one had a “satirical edge”.
While the survey helped Colbert and his super PAC further their campaign, For a Better Tomorrow Tomorrow, Miringoff thinks doing a poll of this nature was also beneficial to the students who were conducting the surveys.
“The poll gave students the opportunity to look at what political satire is all about,” said Miringoff.
Miringoff also said that MIPO made a “very nice relationship” with the writers and producer at “The Colbert Report.” So nice a relationship in fact that Miringoff was given the opportunity to bring a group of students to a filming of the show in April.
Students will watch the filming of an episode and will then be able to speak with the writers and producers about political writing and satire.
As for future collaborations between MIPO and Colbert, Miringoff said that he suspects Marist will work with them again.
“We passed the trial run with them and the quality of the the work was terrific,” said Miringoff.
Miringoff and the Marist Poll intend on contacting Colbert before the next national poll that they conduct.