About the The Daily Show/YouGov Celebrity President Survey

The Daily Show
August 17, 2020, 5:19 PM UTC

Editor's Note: This page has been updated to include the weighting scheme for the survey

The Daily Show and YouGov partnered on a historic survey in August ahead of the 2020 presidential conventions. The premise was simple:  

In 2016 the United States elected its first purely celebrity president. In hindsight maybe not the best idea. But since we now know that it doesn't take anything more than being famous to become president, which politically active celebrity would Americans be most likely to vote for in 2020? Can we do a better job this time? Could we possibly do worse?  

The Daily Show gave YouGov about 256 personalities and celebrities and one question: Which of these celebrities and public figures would you most want to see as the next president.   

We asked survey respondents to suspend their disbelief in order to answer the questions.   

Ranking the celebrities  

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 match up they would prefer as president. Here’s exactly what we asked the participants:  

On the next few pages, you will see the names of two famous people—they may be actors, television personalities, musicians, or athletes. Imagine these two people were running for president of the United States. We ask that you select the person you would rather elect president. You will see 15 different match-ups. We know there are certain laws that may keep some of these people from actually becoming president—for the purposes of these questions, you can ignore that. You can just tell us who of the two people you would prefer as president, regardless of legal barriers. Even if you prefer neither option—or do not know all of the individuals—please choose the one you would prefer to the best of your ability, even if neither are ideal options to you.  

Who would you rather make president of the United States?  

How we picked a winner  

YouGov scored celebrities and public figures by looking at their “win percentage”: how often were they selected in a head-to-head matchup. YouGov also looked at different ways to score these ratings, but they gave virtually the same results as the win percentage, so the simpler metric is employed for the article.  

Weighting

This survey is weighted according to gender, age, race, education, voter registration status, and past presidential vote based on the American Community Survey and the Current Population Survey Registration and Voting Supplement, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census.