CNN political analyst Chris Cillizza graded several Democratic presidential candidates on their recent performance in Iowa, but inexplicably failed to mention Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in a rundown that even included John Hickenlooper.
On Wednesday morning’s edition of New Day, hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerotabantered with Cillizza about the fried foods that take center stage at the Iowa State Fair every four years, then launched into a segment grading the performance of Democratic candidates at said fair.
First up was New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, whom Cillizza gave an “A” because Booker got the “best response” at the Wing Ding Dinner (“along with Pete Buttigieg“), and performed well at the last CNN debate. As Cillizza noted, Booker was polling at about one percent going into the fair.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren also earned an “A” because “she has by far the biggest and best organization on the ground and the most organic passion behind her candidacy.”
In the latest Monmouth University Iowa poll, Warren was in second place at 19 percent, trailing Joe Biden by 9 points.
Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke — who got less than one percent in that Monmouth poll — got a “B” because of his “powerful, authentic” response to the mass shooting in El Paso, which Cillizza called “his best moment in the 2020 campaign.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden earned a “C” grade because of a pair of “gaffes” that are a “bad storyline.”
Even former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper made the cut, earning a “D” grade that Cillizza offered to change to an “A” if Hickenlooper drops out to run for the Senate against incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner.
What was missing from Cillizza’s analysis — aside from depth and substance — was any mention of Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders, who were polling in third and fourth place in Iowa going into the fair.
Now, the world will never know what grade Cillizza would have given Harris, who launched a bus tour in Iowa, and who drew larger crowds than the frontrunner, according to The Hill. Ditto Sanders, who was definitely there, eating fair food and giving speeches about issues. Sanders has been struggling in Iowa polls, including the fair’s unscientific “Corn Kernel” poll.
It’s anyone’s guess why Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders didn’t exist to Chris Cillizza this week, but they were definitely in Iowa, and definitely worth mentioning.