Stephen Colbert’s Sister In Dead Heat In South Carolina Race

Stephen Colbert’s sister is neck-and-neck with former Gov. Mark Sanford for an open congressional seat in South Carolina, a new poll found just a day ahead of voting.

Elizabeth Colbert Busch once held a sizable lead in the race against Sanford, but in a Public Policy Polling survey released Sunday evening the two candidates were essentially tied, with Sanford leading 47 percent to 46 percent. In the last PPP poll Colbert Busch held a 9-point lead, but it was conducted just after Sanford was getting some bad press.

The former governor was accused of trespassing at his ex-wife’s home, leading to him being dropped by the National Republican Campaign Committee. The incident was not only harmful for Sanford’s current race, but also dredged up memories of Sanford’s famous meltdown as governor, when he abandoned the state and his wife to be with his mistress.

But since then Mark Sanford has recovered, painting Elizabeth Colbert Busch as a liberal out of touch with voters. In a debate last week he tried to connect Stephen Colbert’s sister to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and called her our for accepting donations from labor groups.

Still, it remains a very tight race.

“The special election in South Carolina couldn’t be much closer,” PPP president Dean Debnam said in a release. “At this point it’s just a question of whether voters are more put off by Mark Sanford or the Democrats in Washington.”

Colbert Busch has gotten some help from her brother, Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert. He made appearances for her in South Carolina and gave her a “non-mention” on his show.

Colbert, who calls his sister, Lulu, said:

“No free air time, Lulu … As a broadcast journalist, I am obligated to maintain broad objectivity. It doesn’t matter that my sister is intelligent, hardworking, compassionate, and dedicated to the people of South Carolina.”

While the attention from Stephen Colbert may help in fundraising or attention, the race between Elizabeth Colbert Busch and Mark Sanford will likely turn on local issues. The election will take place Tuesday.