CNN congressional correspondent and Twitter’s favorite ‘Map Guy’ Phil Mattingly has earned praise for holding his own with network veterans throughout the coverage of a tumultuous election cycle.
As election day quickly turned to election night, viewers stayed tuned to only a handful of experts to get the latest news on vote counts, including CNN’s John King and Phil Mattingly, MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki, and Fox News Channel’s Bill Hemmer. As voters stood on their toes waiting for an election outcome, viewers began to share their appreciation for the live coverage over Twitter, referring to the election experts affectionately as ‘map guys’ or ‘chartthrobs,’ as LA Times’ Matt Brennan put it.
Mattingly, who took the late night shift following King, garnered a lot of attention when he and CNN’s Chris Cuomo reacted to Biden’s sharp recovery in Michigan early Wednesday morning following Election Day.
“We’ll pull back out here. Look, Donald Trump just took the lead!” Mattingly mistakenly said after Trump’s nearly 60,000 vote lead was cut down to around 26,000 in Michigan. “Pull back out. Donald Trump now ahead. By 26, didn’t take the lead, sorry, it’s been a long night.”
“Overall margin went from in the 60s down to 26,000,” Mattingly clarified.
Of course, most commentators were concerned with something other than this minor gaffe. “This election has taught me so much about my country,” says YouTube star and two time Emmy nominated comedian Randy Rainbow. “But mostly that Phil Mattingly from CNN is hot asf and John King could also most certainly get it.”
Meanwhile, r/MapBoy became a trending subreddit full of memes honoring Mattingly for his good looks and charismatic coverage.
Mattingly took his night of fame modestly, tweeting about the honor of working along with CNN veteran John King. “In a week full of endless highlights, this ranks right there near the top,” Mattingly wrote on Twitter. “First ever time comparing Magic Wall notes on live TV with the [goat].”