One day before the Nevada Republican presidential caucuses, the Monday editions of ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News couldn’t help but bask in the possibility that the “unstoppable” Donald Trump could run the table and win the rest of the state-level contests to take the Republican nomination against Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.
World News Tonight anchor David Muir teased the “major” firing in the Ted Cruz campaign but also wondered if Trump is “now unstoppable” as Cruz and Marco Rubio “battl[e] to be the alternative.”
With the Republican race serving as the lead story, Muir declared to viewers:
And we begin with fast-moving developments in the race for the White House. Tonight, we learned of a key resignation on the Republican side, amid the bigger question at this point, can anyone catch up to Donald Trump? Trump winning big in South Carolina, after a major win in New Hampshire and no Republican who has won both New Hampshire and South Carolina has ever lost the nomination.
Republican campaign correspondent Tom Llamas followed by touting Trump as “feeling so confident about the primaries, he's talking about his White House” after “not just winning South Carolina, but winning big.”
“Tonight, the Republican Party facing facts that if Trump wins Nevada, and romps on Super Tuesday, he may be unstoppable. Several party leaders now rallying around Senator Marco Rubio as the best chance to take him out,” Llamas added.
Over on NBC, anchor Lester Holt led into correspondent Hallie Jackson’s piece from Las Vegas by noting that “Trump is surging, locking up delegates, and time is rapidly running out for his opponents to stop him.”
In the segment, Bloomberg TV/MSNBC host Mark Halperin ruled that “[t]he establishment of the Republican Party is waking up to the fact that within a couple of weeks, Donald Trump could be unstoppable, fully in control and the Republican nominee.”
Highlighting the recent history of GOP nomination contests in which no candidate has not secured the eventual nod after winning both New Hampshire and South Carolina, Jackson mentioned that “some now [are] starting to accept reality.”
Token establishment Republican and MSNBC political analyst Michael Steele piggybacked on this claim with this soundbite: “Any conversation at this stage about stopping Donald Trump is a lot of wishful thing. Right now, he's leading in 10 out of 14 states. You tell me who stops him.”
As readers of NewsBusters would recognize, this obsession with Trump by the “big three” networks is nothing new and backed up by their move to devote roughly 60 percent of their 2016 GOP coverage to Trump while the candidates lag behind with significantly less. With the liberal media having arguably settled on the candidate they want to run against Clinton or Sanders, one should expect this fervent devotion to Trump to continue.