Friday, August 15, 2008

Stephen Colbert, Bundler

Published by Massie Ritsch on August 13, 2008

Here's further evidence that there's a political scientist for every topic under the sun: A professor at the University of California-San Diego has examined campaign finance reports and episodes of "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central to conclude that Stephen Colbert -- he who briefly toyed with running a presidential campaign sponsored by Doritos -- can juice a political candidate's fundraising 40 percent by having them on his show.

Political scientist James H. Fowler found that "Democrats who appear on 'The Colbert Report' enjoy a significant increase in the number and total amount of donations they receive over the next 30–40 days when compared to similar candidates who do not appear on the show," according to a summary of Fowler's study by the American Political Science Association. (The report is in the July issue of APSA's journal, PS.) Republicans do not experience the "Colbert bump." In fact, their fundraising tends to taper after they appear on Colbert's satirical talk show, "hinting at a possible 'Colbert bust' for the GOP," APSA said.

We at the Center for Responsive Politics experienced the bump ourselves after I appeared on "The Report" last October to educate Colbert on campaign finance law (Rule #1: No Doritos money). Traffic to doubled almost immediately when the show aired and it remained for several days at levels we don't normally experience until just before Election Day. Sadly, donations to CRP did not increase.

Complete article:
The Center for Responsive Politics

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