John King, CNN’s master of election maps, has slept just 6.5 hours since Tuesday
It’s Thursday morning, and the winner of the presidential election has yet to be declared. But we’ve seen enough, and we’re making the call: CNN’s John King is the MVP.
Twitter has been in a state of collective shock and awe this week while watching a calm and collected King tirelessly anchor CNN’s election coverage via his magic electoral wall with little to no breaks — let alone sleep.
“I’ve been on air 12-14 hours both Tuesday and Wednesday,” King told the Los Angeles Times Thursday in a statement. “Tuesday night I got 2.5 hours sleep; Wednesday night 4. Happy to do as much as I can. This is an amazing and consequential story. More so because of the pandemic and its impact on everything.”
The network’s senior national correspondent is known for his superhuman ability to rattle off fact after niche fact about the political history of seemingly every region of the country without stumbling on his words or even coming up for air.
“John King is flawless. Literally,” tweeted sports journalist Taylor Rooks. “His knowledge is unmatched. He is fair and his poise puts viewers at ease. We forever remember who delivers the news at historic times like these. We’re lucky that it’s John.”
As the results of the election continue to trickle in, King has been filling the air time by zooming in and out of Democrat- and Republican-leaning counties across America on his giant, touch-screen electoral map, calculating every possible path President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden could possibly carve to the White House, depending on which areas turn red or blue.
The controversial call received pushback from the Trump campaign. Fox News is holding firm and could call Biden the winner of the White House on Thursday night.
“John King has been standing in front of the screen pointing at counties for about 30 hours,” tweeted TV writer Elan Gale.
“I am deeply impressed by John King basically saying the same thing over and over for 24 hrs straight,” wrote molecular biologist Harmit Malik. “Especially while getting interrupted by his buddy Wolf Blitzer unnecessarily declaring an alert or breaking news every 10 minutes.”
In addition to awe and admiration, many expressed concern for King’s well-being after following his map projections all of Tuesday night, well into Wednesday morning and beyond.
At press time, King was still on TV.
“Does CNN let John King eat dinner?” USA Today’s Mike Freeman asked.
“How is John King still standing?” tweeted Protocol’s Mike Murphy.
Even the youth of TikTok couldn’t help but bow down to King’s unwavering stamina, according to screenshots shared by Buzzfeed’s Rosie Gray that featured impressed comments such as, “He hasn’t even taken a breather. He went in on every county in the country, bruh,” and “He don’t fear sleep ... Sleep fears him.”
“I don’t have time to see it all, but I see some of the social media commentary, and I am grateful for so many kind words,” King told The Times of his election-week fame.
“Overall, to me, it is more than anything proof of the high interest in the election, and the trust we have worked hard to earn with people at key moments. Corny, maybe, but I love elections and love seeing turnout up across the board. And I’m grateful for the trust CNN places in me to have this role.”
Somehow, in between educating millions of viewers about the electoral process and taking the occasional two-hour break, certified vampire King even had time to acknowledge some of his fans on social media. He promised them he would indulge in a post-election beer “not soon enough. But soon(ish).”
“Let us know how you take your coffee,” he responded to one person who vowed to visit the “CNN HQ to make sure @JohnKing is doing all right over there.”
Also getting plenty of love on Twitter is MSNBC’s election expert, Steve Kornacki, whose similarly nonstop electoral-map tracking has transfixed the internet, including model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen.
“I honestly dunno how steve is still going im bout to die,” Teigen tweeted, along with a photo of herself prying her exhausted eyes open while wearing one of her signature bathrobes. Same, Chrissy. Same.
See more reactions to King and Kornacki’s herculean election coverage below.
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