CNN's Cillizza Mocks Republicans Over Poll That Was Worse For Dems

PASADENA, CA - JULY 29: Christopher Cillizza at 'The Po!nt' panel during Politicon at Pasadena Convention Center on July 29, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Politicon)
December 12, 2019

CNN's Chris Cillizza mocked Republicans' "fealty" to Donald Trump, citing a poll in which a minority of party members said Trump is a better president than George Washington. Cillizza's analysis ignored that twice as many Democrats said the same of Barack Obama.

"Overall, 7 in 10 say that George Washington was the better president while 15% picked Trump," the CNN editor at large wrote Wednesday of a recent Monmouth University poll. "But among GOPers it's far closer -- with 44% choosing Washington and 37% naming Trump."

The same Monmouth poll found Democrats far more likely than Republicans to say that their party's most recent president was superior to the Father of the Nation. More than 60 percent of Democrats say Barack Obama was a better president than Washington, while only 29 percent say Washington was the better president.

Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray gave a more measured response to the poll's results. "There is a combination of factors at work when you ask a question like this," he said. "Democrats may be more likely than Republicans to be influenced by recency bias, valuing what they are familiar with over historical opinion. It's a fun question to ask, but I'm not sure what it means."

At no point in Cillizza's analysis does he mention the results among Democrats, criticizing only Republicans' views of the president.

"Stop for a minute," Cillizza intoned. "Almost 4 in 10 Republicans told a pollster that Donald Trump is a better president than George Washington. The same George Washington who led the country's armed forces to victory over the British, helped found our country and then walked away from office after two terms even though he could have kept getting elected for as long as he wanted."

"What's amazing -- at least to me -- is that so many Republicans have turned into unquestioning supporters of Trump to the point where 4 in 10 go on record to say he is a better president than George Washington! Stunning stuff," he said.