COLUMBIA (WACH / AP) - Results of a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling show comedian Stephen Colbert as a favorite among South Carolina voters for Jim DeMint's seat in the U.S. Senate.
The poll results, which were released Monday, say Colbert tops the list at 20 percent. Tim Scott is second in line with 15 percent, followed by Trey Gowdy (14%), Jenny Sanford (11%), Henry McMaster (8%), Mark Sanford (8%), Jeff Duncan (5%), Joe Wilson (5%) and Mick Mulvaney (4%).
According to the report, "If Colbert's lacking knowledge of the state beverage keeps him from Haley's consideration, voters say their top choice is Jenny Sanford at 17 percent."
The report shows Tim Scott ranking highly in each version of the poll.
"In all three permutations of the field we tested Tim Scott comes out as the top choice among Republicans," according to PPP.
Gov. Nikki Haley released a statement Friday saying she is taking the responsibility of choosing U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint's successor in Sentate with "utmost seriousness."
U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint's resignation gives Haley authority to choose South Carolina's next senator, and the only indication she's made so far is that she won't appoint herself.
The PPP report states, "Nikki Haley is one of the most unpopular Governors in the country. Only 42 percent of voters approve of the job she's doing to 49 percent who disapprove." The report goes on to say that Haley does have strong support from Republicans with 70 percent approving of the job she is doing and only 22 percent disapproving.
According to the poll results, Democrats, of which a large marjority disapprove of the South Carolina governor, are pushing for Colbert's appointment (32%).
DeMint announced last Thursday that he is resigning from the U.S. Senate to lead The Heritage Foundation.
Colbert made a social media push to be selected by Haley as DeMint's replacement the same day on Twitter.
Haley thanked Colbert via social media for his interest, but shot down the idea.
Monday, Haley also struck down the possibility of a 'placeholder' appointee who would pledge to serve for only two years and not seek election to the seat in 2014.
Statement from Gov. Haley on the process of filling U.S. Senate vacancy:
â??As I continue to consider the impending U.S. Senate vacancy, many have discussed the possibility of a â??placeholderâ?? appointee who would pledge to serve for only two years and not seek election to the seat in 2014. While there are some good arguments in favor of that approach, I believe the better case is against it.
â??I do not want to tie the next U.S. Senator from South Carolina's hands regarding future office. I do not want to deprive our stateâ??s citizens of the chance to render their judgment on the appointeeâ??s performance by way of their vote. Most importantly, while I am an avid supporter of term limits, I do not want the effectiveness of our stateâ??s new U.S. Senator to be undermined by the fact that he or she will automatically be leaving the office such a very short time after assuming it.
â??I believe South Carolina will be best served by a U.S. Senator who will work hard day in and day out, and put him or herself before the voters at the soonest possible time. Accordingly, I reject the option of a â??placeholder.â??â??
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)