That is more than triple the number backing all five of his competitors combined. Such strong support gives Cranston leading odds of 8 to 11. (See a full breakdown of the odds, including those of our Experts and Editors, here.)
However, some of our forum posters who have watched all six episode submissions disagree, making a case for Damian Lewis (“Homeland“) or Jon Hamm (“Mad Men“). Lewis, who headlined the freshman season of the Showtime political drama, has 45 votes in his favor, which results in odds of 11 to 2. Hamm, who has contended unsuccesfully for each of the first four seasons of the AMC period piece, has 49 votes and odds of 6 to 1.
See a sampling of their analyses below and join the debate in our message boards here.
Irishmovielover4ever: … from the moment he is brought into the desert till his evil laugh [in his submission episode, “Crawl Space”], Cranston is the best I’ve seen on TV this season. When we get Walter laughing like a evil clown about Skyler giving Ted the money I was like, “Can he win four?” and yes, he can and will.
BenitoDelicias: Bryan Cranston and Damian Lewis should be the only ones to consider. I would vote for Lewis … [His submission, “Marine One,” is] a very good, thrilling episode and several scenes are sold to perfection by Lewis, most notably the beginning confession sequence and everything about the vest and the bomb.
jjjmoss: I personally don’t see at all what people see in Lewis. I think the show suffers when [Claire] Danes is not on the screen and even though she outshines him it’s when she’s onscreen that he ups his game.
probably: I’d go as far to say Lewis gave a stronger, more nuanced performance than Danes and it is sad she gets most of the credit. That is from someone that believes she should win the Emmy and deserves it more than anyone. But Damien Lewis was incredible all season and held his own in every scene with her.
montana82: For all the talk of how unstoppable Cranston is, how great Lewis was, and how Hamm never had a standout episode I ended up being most impressed by Hamm [in his submission, “The Other Woman”] … Lewis was fine but the plot twists just felt gimmicky and absurd. And Cranston’s screaming and Baby Jane-like laughing to close his episode was so campy and over the top that even the cast of “American Horror Story” blushed.