I am not making this up: Stephen Colbert has moved ahead of Bill Richardson in the national polls and is closing in on Joe Biden. Colbert has only been a "candidate" for a week.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for it. But what does this say about electoral politics in America? Chris Cillizza explores the public opinion polls in his Washington Post blog. Scroll down a bit on his blog. You won't be disappointed.
You can also learn more about Colbert's chances of winning the "drunken college student demographic" by reading Joshua Green's funny and incisive piece in the Atlantic online.
Is this serious stuff? Yes and no.
"Yes" because Colbert will suck the media air out of weaker, down-ballot candidates in the Democratic Party. But he will have less impact amongst Republicans who were born with their panties in a wad and can't laugh at anything. Among Republicans, Colbert probably hurts Libertarian Ron Paul most.
"No" because Colbert doesn't have a cut dog's chance of winning. Not even in his home state of South Carolina, the only state where he's running.
But it's not really a "yes and no" landscape anymore. Stephen Colbert and his mentor, Jon Stewart, represent a small, but growing fundamental change in the way Americans view politics. Over at MSNBC, Hardball host Chris Matthews thinks these two guys are the new editorial cartoonists.