The race to be the next President of the United States might now come down to Barack Obama and…Stephen Colbert?
The Comedy Central funny man announced his intention to run for president of the "United States of America of South Carolina" at the taping of his show Thursday night and will try to compete in South Carolina’s GOP primary Jan. 21.
"I'm proud to announce I plan to form an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for my candidacy," Colbert said.
Also read: Stephen Colbert Leads Jon Huntsman in South Carolina Poll — Seriously
While Colbert won't actually compete for the GOP nomination in the general election, this may give Republicans another option beyond Mitt Romney in a pivotal state. Every Republican presidential candidate since 1980 has won South Carolina's primary.
"Clearly my fellow South Caroliniacs see me as the only Mitternative," Colbert said.
Colbert may not be able to enter the race since the state does not permit write-in votes in primaries for the president and vice president. Chris Whitmire, spokesperson for the South Carolina Election Commission, told CNN that there "won't even be a way for someone to do that because it's not allowed under the law."
Colbert ran into bureaucratic hurdles in the last election, when he also tried to enter the presidential race in South Carolina. That time he tried to enter as a Democracy, but the party removed him from the ballot.
Also read: Jon Huntsman Offers Stephen Colbert VP Nomination — in Mandarin (Video)
What spurred Colbert's latest attempt? A recent poll from Public Policy Polling, which showed the former "Daily Show" correspondent leading former Utah governor Jon Huntsman by a percentage point. Huntsman, who has spent most of the campaign at the bottom of the polls, just finished third in New Hampshire.
Colbert has been toying with the electoral process for months now, starting with the formation of the Colbert Super PAC, which the Federal Election Commission approved in June of last year.
Since then, he has paid special attention to South Carolina, or as he likes to refer to his childhood home, the Palmetto State.
As state officials fought over who should fund the primary, Colbert offered to foot the bill so long as he also got to attach his name to it. He persisted in trying to place his imprint on the race, penning an editorial in “The State.”
Attacks from Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and others seem to have mostly bounced off Romney, but Colbert should take every opportunity to change that. Related Articles: Stephen Colbert Leads Jon Huntsman in South Carolina Poll — Seriously Stephen Colbert and Jack White: A Bromance in Six Parts (Video)