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Last Updated: Monday, 29 October 2007, 19:04 GMT
Million back comic for president
Stephen Colbert
Colbert says he will run for both major parties so he can "lose twice"
More than a million people have backed comic Stephen Colbert's fake candidacy in the 2008 US presidential election on social-networking website Facebook.

In nine days, more than 1m users joined an online group set up after the Colbert Report host announced his bid.

Tens of thousands of other Facebook users have joined about 500 groups supporting the comic's candidacy.

Colbert says he will run for president in his home state - South Carolina - as both a Democrat and a Republican.

Campaign trail

After Colbert announced on 16 October that he would run, high-school student Raj Vachhani set up a group on Facebook called "1,000,000 Strong For Stephen T Colbert".

The group was growing very quickly and began overloading one of our servers, but we have since resolved that problem
Facebook spokeswoman

The group was inspired by a similar movement in support of Democratic nomination hopeful Barack Obama, called "One Million Strong for Barack".

While the group supporting Mr Obama took more than eight months to gain 380,000 members, Mr Vachhani's group backing a candidate running in just one state has become one of the largest political groups on Facebook in less than two weeks.

The group grew so quickly it caused technical problems for the website, which has nearly 50 million users around the world and is said to account for 1% of all internet traffic.

"The group was growing very quickly and began overloading one of our servers, but we have since resolved that problem," a Facebook spokeswoman told the New York Times.

Colbert has already started his "campaign", appearing before several hundred fans at the University of South Carolina on Sunday.

Playing to interstate rivalry, Colbert vowed: "I promise, if elected, I will crush the state of Georgia."

He has said he will run for both the Democrats and the Republicans because he would "like to lose twice".

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