The Colbert bump is real

Kevin Winter/Getty Images Tune into just about any episode of The Colbert Report, and you’ll hear Stephen Colbert extolling the virtues of the “Colbert bump,” the phenomenon wherein candidates, authors, and musicians appearing on his show experience an immediate surge in popularity and sales of whatever they happen to be hawking. Among the many bumps ...

595603_080407_colbert2.jpg
595603_080407_colbert2.jpg

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Tune into just about any episode of The Colbert Report, and you'll hear Stephen Colbert extolling the virtues of the "Colbert bump," the phenomenon wherein candidates, authors, and musicians appearing on his show experience an immediate surge in popularity and sales of whatever they happen to be hawking. Among the many bumps for which Colbert has claimed credit, see Toby Keith's #1 album last year, Salman Rushdie's knighthood, and the fact that the names Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee mean something to you.

Now, James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego, has just completed a study demonstrating the "first scientific evidence of Stephen Colbert's influence on political campaigns." Yes, Virginia, the Colbert bump is real.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Tune into just about any episode of The Colbert Report, and you’ll hear Stephen Colbert extolling the virtues of the “Colbert bump,” the phenomenon wherein candidates, authors, and musicians appearing on his show experience an immediate surge in popularity and sales of whatever they happen to be hawking. Among the many bumps for which Colbert has claimed credit, see Toby Keith’s #1 album last year, Salman Rushdie’s knighthood, and the fact that the names Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee mean something to you.

Now, James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego, has just completed a study demonstrating the “first scientific evidence of Stephen Colbert’s influence on political campaigns.” Yes, Virginia, the Colbert bump is real.

Fowler examined the rate and amount of fundraising done by House candidates who appeared on Colbert’s show for his “Better Know a District” segment. Democrats who appear on the show raise 44 percent more money in the 30 days after appearing on the show than Dems that don’t appear. But it’s bad news for Republicans: No bump. Their donations stay flat.

Advice for Barack and Hillary, given that Colbert is taking his show on the road next week to Pennsylvania in advance of the presidential primary there: Get thee to the Report.

H/T: The Monkey Cage

Carolyn O'Hara is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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