The general election debates begin in less than a month, and while the moderator lineup won’t be announced until after Labor Day, voters already have a few hosts in mind.
A new Morning Consult poll shows that while traditionally opinion-shy television moderators are chosen for the general election debates, viewers want cable news names with big personalities.
Of the 2,007 registered voters polled, a third wanted CNN’s Anderson Cooper to moderate a general election debate. Fox News’s Megyn Kelly came in second place in the poll with a quarter of the votes, and Chris Wallace garnered 22%.
Cooper leads with Clinton supporters, while Wallace leads with Trump supporters.
During the primary debates, Cooper moderated two Democratic debates, and Kelly and Wallace moderated three Republican debates.
The opinions of those polled buck against the traditional general election moderator picks by the Commission on Presidential Debates — typically “Big 3” network or PBS anchors like Jim Lehrer, Bob Schieffer, and Gwen Ifill.
The commission’s decision will be cutting it close to the debates, which begin in late September:
First presidential debate: Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, Hempstead, New York
Vice presidential debate: Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, Farmville, Virginia
Second presidential debate: Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, St. Louis, Missouri
Third presidential debate: Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, Las Vegas, Nevada
Clinton currently leads Trump by 6 percent in the Real Clear Politics average of presidential polls. At this point, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are unlikely to qualify for the debates.