Pssst! Rahm, Nancy…
…you might want to send Stephen Colbert an apology. And a few dozen roses.
Far from hurting the careers of the Democrats who go on his show, as both Speaker Pelosi and powerhouse Congressman Emanuel feared, a new study has found that donations to Democratic lawmakers appearing in his "Better Know a District" segment spike upwards rather dramatically:
Stephen Colbert, the host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, claims that politicians who appear on his show will become more popular and are more likely to win elections. Although online discussions cite anecdotal evidence in support of his claim, it has never been scrutinized scientifically. In this article I use "facts" (sorry, Stephen) provided by the Federal Election Commission to create a matched control group of candidates who have never appeared on The Colbert Report. I then compare the personal campaign donations they receive to those received by candidates who have appeared on the program’s segment "Better Know a District." The results show that Democratic candidates who appear on the Report receive a statistically significant "Colbert bump" in campaign donations, raising 44% more money in a 30-day period after appearing on the show. However, there is no evidence of a similar boost for Republicans. These results constitute the first scientific evidence of Stephen Colbert’s influence on political campaigns.
The PDF describing this can be found here.
Nancy! Rahm! Go give Stephen an apology — or go On Notice!