The Daily Show/YouGov Next Celebrity President Results: The News Personalities

The Daily Show
August 19, 2020, 12:00 PM UTC

Republicans are keen to make Laura Ingraham president, while Democrats would like to see Anderson Cooper as Commander-in-Chief.

Among more than 200 celebrities The Daily Show put forth for the first of its kind poll, the Fox News commentator was the top TV news personality chosen by Republicans in a series of head-to-head matchups presented to more than 2,500 US citizens who were asked which they would make president of the United States. 

Ingraham won 76 percent of the matchups in which she was a contender for Republicans, while fellow Fox News agitator Tucker Carlson, whose name has been floated as a GOP nominee for 2024, won 75 percent. Carlson was followed by several other Fox News personalities including Sean Hannity (74%), Brian Kilmeade (68%) as well as famed conspiracy theorist Glenn Beck (71%). In fact, on the list of news personalities Republicans most want to send to Washington, a non-Fox News personality doesn’t appear until the tenth slot: ABC’s George Stephanopoulos at 57 percent. 

Stephanopoulos is one of very few news people the right and the left can agree on; 59 percent of Democrats would be fine to see him in the Oval Office. 

Meanwhile among Democrats, CNN’s Cooper won 73 percent of his matchups, followed by ABC’s Diane Sawyer (72%), CNN’s Chris Cuomo (72%), MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow (68%) and ABC’s Robin Roberts (67%). 

While the Democrats' top choices are generally perceived to be liberals, they are all straight news anchors and journalists. Democrats did not choose any opinion commentators as their top five. However, all the top five choices of Republicans are conservative commentators. 

Overall, regardless of party politics, the top news personalities chosen were Sawyer, Roberts, MSNBC’s Lawrence O'Donnell (56%), Fox News’s Chris Wallace (55%) and Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs (55%). 

Wallace is the top Fox News personality chosen among Democrats (61%); O'Donnell is the highest-scoring MSNBC personality among Republicans (53%). 

Personalities least suited for the job of Commader-in-Chief among Democrats somewhat mirror the top picks among Republicans, and vice versa. Democrats are least likely to pick Carlson (26%), infamous pundit Ann Coulter (24%) and Fox News contributor Tomi Lahren (22%). 

On the other side of the political coin, Republicans are coolest towards MSNBC’s Joy Reid (27%), Rachel Maddow (27%) and CNN’s Chris Cuomo (31%). 

A journalist in the Oval Office is rare but is has happened: Warren G. Harding (served 1921-23) was a journalist and publisher before taking office. 

Methodology: The Daily Show/YouGov survey consisted of 2,586 panelists and ran between August 7 - 11. Every person was randomly assigned to see 30 celebrities, which appeared in 15 head-to-head matchups. For each, respondents were asked to indicate which of the celebrities in the head-to-head matchup they would prefer as the next to become president. For more information, see our methodology page and reach out to uspress@yougov.comOr see the cross tabs here