MELTDOWN: NBC Frets ‘There Is Not a Blue Tsunami,’ Point Fingers at Pelosi, Schumer

Despite the eventual projections that Democrats would retake the House of Representatives on Tuesday night, NBC News was still uneasy, admitting that “Donald Trump and his followers are still intact” and “there is not a blue tsunami” that could be because of the unpopularity of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

Former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw kicked on the spin machine, admitting that “at the end of the day, Donald Trump and his followers are still intact if it stays the way that we're seeing it right now” with the “big reason” being “the economy...chugging right along.”

 

 

Brokaw added minutes later that the GOP “are much better about holding their people and organizing” because “[t]hey have an idea what they want to hold and they're holding together” where as “Democrats are much more scattered” and are led by “the same people who lost the Congress three elections in a row.”

Five minutes before the top of the hour at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, Today co-host Savannah Guthrie admitted that “it is not a total blowout on the part of Democrats.” And with that, you could feel the air of liberal hope deflating at NBC.

At 9:07 p.m. Eastern, Capitol Hill correspondent Kasie Hunt seemed pessimistic about Florida for Democrats (click “expand”):

We're talking to sources across the map and every region in both parties and in Florida we're hearing from both Democrats and Republicans that they don't think it's looking good for Gillum and, of course, for Nelson at this stage. They’re not sure there’s any way that he could pull it out. Now, they are saying a hidden upside might be that Gillum did over perform and that may help some of the house candidates further down the ballot, but I have to say, Chuck, overwhelming sentiment from all of my sources right now, this is a much better night for Republicans than many expected. 

Going to virulently anti-Trump faux Republican Steve Schmidt, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt conceded that “we haven't seen the blue wave and we’ve seen the Republicans make a strong stand to hold their seats or increase their seats in the Senate.”

Perhaps the most depressed person on set, Schmidt unloaded (click “expand”):

I think it's early enough in the evening that we can tell there is not a blue wave forming. There is not a blue tsunami that's going to repudiate Donald Trump across the country. In the states that Trump has campaigned in late in the campaign, those states have delivered and performed for him. So if you are sitting at the White House right now, you know a couple of things for certain. You know that the worst case scenario has not materialized....[T]here’s only been three elections in the last 118 years where the incumbent's President's party’s has picked up seats in the mid-term. Structurally there is always a strong headwind. The implication, though, for American politics is that if Donald Trump's campaign of incitement has worked here the racial animus that was unleashed. The making up out of whole cloth, for example, the notion that there the an invading army marching north, disease infested about to crash through the southern border, all of has to things, the idea that there are millions of illegal aliens voting, if it is rewarded, if the lesson is that this works, it will have an enormous implication on our politics going forward into 2020 and an enormous implication inside the Democratic presidential primaries, which begin tomorrow morning. 

Roughly an hour before they declared that Democrats would take the House, both Guthrie and Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd admitted that this was “not a blue wave.”

Brokaw again returned at 9:50 p.m. Eastern to knocking Pelosi and Schumer:

But there has been a lot of people — there is no effort on the part of Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer for that part for that matter to pull the Democratic Party together at some retreat and saying we got to get our act together, folks and we understand we are a part of this. We lost three elections in a row. Now it's time for us to step aside and have new leadership. They're not inclined to do that. They think they can lead them to the promised land. 

To see the transcript from NBC’s midterm coverage, click “expand.”

NBC’s The Vote: America’s Future
November 6, 2018
8:48 p.m. Eastern

TOM BROKAW: Going into today, I think there was a lot of hope on both sides, especially on the Democratic side, that this could be a big night, but based on everything that we’re seeing, we're going to wake up in the morning and the country will still be very deeply divided, no question about it. There are some new players on the field, no question about that as well, especially on the Democratic side. They activated more women candidates, the African-Americans are doing well where they're running. But at the end of the day, Donald Trump and his followers are still intact if it stays the way that we're seeing it right now. Big reason for that I believe for some time is the economy. The fact is the economy is chugging right along. We’ve got the greatest job creation since the 1960s. That's always an important factor when you're in a presidential election or any kind of election year. Tomorrow morning, the presidential election for 2020 will begin because there are so many new players there and there's something missing from tonight that we'll be hearing about in the not too distant future, that’s the special prosecutor, Mr. Mueller. He has not been talked about. He’ll be a big, big player in the weeks and months to come for whatever he’ll have to say, but he'll have something to say. 

(....)

8:51:30 p.m.
31 seconds

BROKAW: I will say this about Donald Trump and the Republican Party. They are much better about holding their people and organizing. They have an idea what they want to hold and they're holding together. Democrats are much more scattered across the political landscape in a lot of ways. They are bringing in new people but the leaders are the same people who lost the Congress three elections in a row and there are a lot of people out there in America who are saying: What are the Democrats about at this point? I need a unified message about what they're going to deliver for me beyond health care. 

(....)

8:55:27 p.m.
34 seconds

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Chuck, but the question for you tonight and for all political watchers is, even if the Democrats take control, what would the margin be? And based on what we’ve seen in some of these battleground races so far, it is not a total blowout on the part of Democrats? 

CHUCK TODD: No, I can't imagine this thing going — if you were — if I had said earlier, the over/under line I would have set pre-election would have been 35, I would have taken the over based on polling, at this point I'll take the under, at this point. I think we're looking at somewhere between 20 and 35 seats, which is why we’re only about a 65 percent. 20 would mean they came up short. 

(.....)

9:07:39 p.m.
28 seconds

KASIE HUNT: We're talking to sources across the map and every region in both parties and in Florida we're hearing from both Democrats and Republicans that they don't think it's looking good for Gillum and, of course, for Nelson at this stage. They’re not sure there’s any way that he could pull it out. Now, they are saying a hidden upside might be that Gillum did over perform and that may help some of the house candidates further down the ballot, but I have to say, Chuck, overwhelming sentiment from all of my sources right now, this is a much better night for Republicans than many expected. 

(....)

9:08:50 p.m.
2 minutes

HOLT: So, we haven't seen the blue wave and we’ve seen the Republicans make a strong stand to hold their seats or increase their seats in the Senate. 

STEVE SCHMIDT: I think it's early enough in the evening that we can tell there is not a blue wave forming. There is not a blue tsunami that's going to repudiate Donald Trump across the country. In the states that Trump has campaigned in late in the campaign, those states have delivered and performed for him. So if you are sitting at the White House right now, you know a couple of things for certain. You know that the worst case scenario has not materialized. You know that the chances are now overwhelmingly likely that there will be pickups in the United States Senate and certainly when you look down range at the House, though the chances are still more likely than not that there will be a Democrat make majority and a Democratic speaker, the losses do not appear at this hour to be as catastrophic as they were predicted to be. 

HOLT: And they baked that in — some of the recent comments, even the President, himself, noting that losing the House was a high probability. 

SCHMIDT: Absolutely and there’s only been three elections in the last 118 years where the incumbent's President's party’s has picked up seats in the mid-term. Structurally there is always a strong headwind. The implication, though, for American politics is that if Donald Trump's campaign of incitement has worked here the racial animus that was unleashed. The making up out of whole cloth, for example, the notion that there the an invading army marching north, disease infested about to crash through the southern border, all of has to things, the idea that there are millions of illegal aliens voting, if it is rewarded, if the lesson is that this works, it will have an enormous implication on our politics going forward into 2020 and an enormous implication inside the Democratic presidential primaries, which begin tomorrow morning. 

(....)

9:11:23 p.m.
23 seconds

SCHMIDT: So when you look at an early hour on the house races, we know enough already to be able tell that the notion of a blue tsunami crashing over Donald Trump's Washington does not look like at this hour that it's materializing. In fact, when you look at the remaining U.S. Senate seats that are falling into play, chances are overwhelming likely that there will be pickups in the Senate.

(....)

9:20:18 p.m.
47 seconds

GUTHRIE: Only two Democratic pickups so far, this is not a blue wave. 

TODD: It is not a blue wave. Look, here's one. This is the right next door to Florida 27. This is Florida 26 and when we get the rest of this vote in, I have a feeling we can get the rest of the Governor and Senate vote race in, but as you can you see here, though, these are just really tight races. Let me show you. We looked at the early poll closings. We have been following races in North Carolina. These are just very tight. None are blowouts. It doesn't mean Democrats might win some by half of percentage point, but if you look at these target races we’ve been watching, we just put you through here to some of these results. You can see, they're all very close still. So there's a lot. These have just turned into hypercompetitive races. Republican turnout was high. Democratic turnout was high.

(....)

9:38:19 p.m.
8 seconds

ANDREA MITCHELL: And hey, guys, I just got a text from a Democratic member who said we’re now nervous we will not win the House. 

GUTHRIE: Member of Congress.

MITCHELL: Member of Congress.

GUTHRIE: Interesting. Well, Chuck said it will be a long night. 

(....)

9:50:10 p.m.
40 seconds

BROKAW: Well, it means there will be a lot of people who think he ought to be the next president of the United States on the Democratic side and they will be divided along many parts. Look, if Beto O’Rourke pulls this off tonight, we don’t know whether he will or not, he will automatically go to the top of a tier of some kind. It's Texas. He's been an appealing guy. But there has been a lot of people — there is no effort on the part of Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer for that part for that matter to pull the Democratic Party together at some retreat and saying we got to get our act together, folks and we understand we are a part of this. We lost three elections in a row. Now it's time for us to step aside and have new leadership. They're not inclined to do that. They think they can lead them to the promised land. 

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2018 Governors 2018 Congressional NBC Lester Holt Savannah Guthrie Chuck Todd Kasie Hunt Andrea Mitchell Donald Trump Nancy Pelosi Steve Schmidt Chuck Schumer
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