Exasperated Stephanopoulos, Todd Hail ‘Political Earthquake’ in N.H.; ‘Shot Across the Bow’

In dual network special reports at the top of the 8:00 p.m. Eastern hour, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and NBC’s Chuck Todd expressed their amazement at the “political earthquake” by the New Hampshire primary victories from Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump that will serve as “a shot across the bow at both political parties” despite the polls long predicting this very result. 

On ABC, the chief anchor and former Clinton administration official in Stephanopoulos turned to political analyst and former Bush official Matthew Dowd to exclaim that even though “Trump and Sanders have been ahead for so long, it's hard to remember what a political earthquake this is right now.”

Dowd nodded along in agreement and gushed that “I don't think you can underestimate the wow factor that exists in this today” as “[t]hat was only six months ago that most insiders of both parties said neither one of these folks would ever win a primary and now, they’ve won the first in the nation primary.” 

“You mentioned an earthquake. This is a 7.0 on the Richter Scale with major foundational earth shattering of the establishment in the course of this and only the aftershocks are going to be felt going forward,” he added. 

Over on NBC, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd also appeared shocked despite the near certain results and spun that “[w]hen the country is upset and angry, New Hampshire and the new Hampshire primary has a way of telling us first how angry they are and this dual results of two outsiders, two political novices in their political leadership, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, this is a shot across the bow at both political parties, both political establishments.”

Before going back to NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, Todd concluded;

Arguably ten-plus years of frustration with Washington leadership boiling over in New Hampshire tonight. What this means, we'll have a long slog for the fight for the heart and soul of both parties. The Democratic Party and Bernie Sanders and the Republican Party with Donald Trump. This is something else, Lester.

The relevant portion of the transcript from ABC’s Special Report in the 8:00 p.m. Eastern hour on February 9 can be found below.

ABC News Special Report
February 9, 2016
8:02 p.m. Eastern

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Matt Dowd is here with me right now, our political analyst and boy, Trump and Sanders have been ahead for so long, it's hard to remember what a political earthquake this is right now. 

MATTHEW DOWD: I don't think you can underestimate the wow factor that exists in this today. That was only six months ago that most insiders of both parties said neither one of these folks would ever win a primary and now, they’ve won the first in the nation primary. You mentioned an earthquake. This is a 7.0 on the Richter Scale with major foundational earth shattering of the establishment in the course of this and only the aftershocks are going to be felt going forward and one thing is for sure. The crowds going forward for those two men are only going to grow bigger. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: They both have channeled a lot of anger. That is exactly right.

Tell the Truth 2016

The relevant portion of the transcript from NBC’s Special Report in the 8:00 p.m. Eastern hour on February 9 can be found below.

NBC News Special Report
February 9, 2016
8:01 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Let's go to Chuck Todd right now. Chuck, what are you seeing in these results right now? What's the big headline here? 

MEET THE PRESS MODERATOR CHUCK TODD: Well, the big headline is this, Lester. When the country is upset and angry, New Hampshire and the new Hampshire primary has a way of telling us first how angry they are and this dual results of two outsiders, two political novices in their political leadership, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, this is a shot across the bow at both political parties, both political establishments. Arguably ten-plus years of frustration with Washington leadership boiling over in New Hampshire tonight. What this means, we'll have a long slog for the fight for the heart and soul of both parties. The Democratic Party and Bernie Sanders and the Republican Party with Donald Trump. This is something else, Lester.

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center