Voters overwhelmingly selected CNN host Anderson Cooper as the top choice to host a major presidential debate, according to a poll published Monday by Morning Consult.
Cooper won with 34 percent. Fox News hosts Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace earned 25 percent and 22 percent respectively. Coming in fourth, but no less solid, is presidential debate veteran Bob Schieffer from CBS with 17 percent. CNN rounded up the pack with Wolf Blitzer at 16 percent.
There is a strong partisan divide in the selection. Forty percent of Democrats support Cooper, compared to only 20 percent of Republicans. Forty-one percent of Independents support Cooper as well. Only 23 percent of self-identified supporters of Republican nominee Donald Trump back Cooper.
Runner-up Kelly earned 25 percent support of Trump supporters, the rest supposedly remembering the primary debate in which Kelly questioned Trump on his treatment of women. Only 18 percent of Clinton supporters selected the Fox News host.
CNN announced it has no plans to immediately announce who will moderate out of concern for Trump’s response. The Republican nominee has already accused the debate organizers of stacking the deck in favor of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The debate commission already announced that Charlie Rose would not be considered because of a 2012 Wall Street Journal report that linked Rose with the Clinton family. The debate commission also has no desire to allow the selection of the moderator to dominate the news cycle.
The Morning Consult Survey polled over 2,000 likely voters, and the poll included 22 popular news hosts, with 11 percent of voters supporting the “other” option. The survey was conducted from Aug. 24 through Aug. 26, and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points in either direction.
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