Jon Huntsman, who initially staked his presidential campaign on New Hampshire, now heads to South Carolina, where a recent poll shows him trailing even satirical television host Stephen Colbert.
Colbert, who attempted unsuccessfully to buy naming rights for the first-in-the-South primary, is not a candidate in the race. But a new survey by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling shows Colbert beating Huntsman if his name were to appear on the primary ballot on Jan. 21.
It’s not entirely surprising that Colbert would poll better than Huntsman. Colbert grew up in South Carolina. And he is probably better known than Huntsman, who was generally ignored for much of the run-up to the primary season because of his low poll numbers and a strategy that focused almost entirely on New Hampshire, a state that was viewed as Mitt Romney’s territory from the beginning.
Still, the poll is further embarrassment for the candidate who placed a distant third in New Hampshire Tuesday night.
The survey found Romney leading in South Carolina with 27% support among likely primary voters, followed by Newt Gingrich with 23%, Rick Santorum with 18%, Ron Paul with 8% and Rick Perry with 7%. Colbert had 5%, beating out Huntsman's 4% and Buddy Roemer's 1%.