According to a Public Policy Polling survey, Stephen Colbert, 48, is the man South Carolinians would like to see replace Jim DeMint in the United States Senate.

The longtime senator is leaving to run the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. Gov. Nikki Haley, 40, must now appoint a new senator who will hold the seat until a special election can be held in 2014. With 20 percent supporting Colbert, he leads by five percent over Rep. Tim Scott. In third place is Rep. Trey Gowdy with 14 percent, and Jenny Sanford, the ex-wife of the former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, is fourth with 11 percent.

The survey was conducted from Dec. 7 to Dec. 9 and represents 520 voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.

Haley has said she would appoint someone with views similar to that of DeMint’s. She appeared to dismiss the candidacy of Colbert, albeit playfully, on Friday by saying he was disqualified for not remembering the state drink when she made an appearance on The Colbert Report.

This is not Colbert’s first foray into politics. In 2007, he tried to get on the ballot in the South Carolina primaries and did it again in 2012. He also formed a SuperPAC called “Americans For a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow.”

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