There’s no bunk in the Colbert bump

According to an article published in July’s issue of PS: Political Science & Politics, an appearance on Comedy Central’s late-night political parody show the Colbert Report equals extra cash for Democrats.

The host of the Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert, has long claimed that an appearance on his show can help out campaigning politicians.

"…The Colbert Bump is the curious phenomenon whereby anyone who appears on this program gets a huge boost in popularity," he said.

It’s hard to take Colbert’s claims at face value considering he coined the term "truthiness."

"Truthiness is what you want the facts to be, as opposed to what the facts are. What feels like the right answer as opposed to what reality will support," said Colbert.

In an attempt to discern whether the bump is truth or truthy, James H. Fowler, an associate political science professor at the University of California, San Diego, recently completed a study of the "Colbert Bump."

After analyzing the campaign contributions of politicians who have appeared on the show, including local Democrats Diana Degette and Mark Udall, and comparing their fundraising efforts with contemporaries who didn’t appear, Fowler found an interesting trend.

"Democrats benefit from a one-third increase in contributions yielding two-fifths more money over a 30-day period. In comparison, contributions to Republicans stay flat or even decline."

So, while the Colbert Report may not do much for Republicans, for Democrats the bump is no bull.

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Bob Spencer

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