Nets Hail ‘History’ and ‘Progress’ of Dem Primary Winners

All three network morning shows on Wednesday celebrated “history being made” and “progress” after female Democratic candidates won primaries in several states on Tuesday. The broadcasts were particularly enthralled by African American state legislator Stacey Abrams winning Georgia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary and openly gay former sheriff Lupe Valdez winning the same contest in the state of Texas.

“Now the results from those primary elections in four states overnight, women winning big....And history being made in Georgia. Stacey Abrams won the Democratic primary for governor, making her the nation’s first black woman to lead a major party’s ticket for governor,” co-host Robin Roberts proclaimed on ABC’s Good Morning America.

The on-screen headline echoed that sentiment: “Women Win Big In Key Primaries; Candidate for Georgia Governor Makes History.”

 

 

Free air time was then granted to Abrams’s campaign, with a clip of the Democrat’s victory speech in front of a cheering crowd of supporters: “We are writing the next chapter of Georgia’s future, where no one is unseen, no one is unheard, and no one is uninspired! I hope that you will all join us in our fight for the future!”

Roberts was eager to place Abrams in the governor’s mansion: “And if she wins in November, she’ll be the first African-American woman governor in this country, and also the first woman governor of Georgia.”

Fellow co-host George Stephanopoulos offered a brief dose of reality: “Of course it is a long shot down there in Georgia.” Despite that acknowledgment, there was no mention of Abrams being too far left for voters in such a red state.

Instead, Stephanopoulos joined in the fawning coverage:

But what a night for women last night as well. This is really shaping up to be the year of the women as we head into these midterm elections. Not only Stacey Abrams, Amy McGrath [in Kentucky], also in Texas, a Latina, Lupe Valdez. A Latina, gay Latina, now the Democratic nominee for governor there. Again, a long shot, but a big win in the primary.

Roberts satisfyingly concluded: “Progress, that’s right.”

In a news brief on the election results during NBC’s Today show, co-host Savannah Guthrie told viewers:

Want to tell you about some election results getting national attention. In Georgia, Stacy Abrams easily defeated her opponent in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. She becomes the state’s first female nominee for governor, and if she were to win in November, she’d be the country’s first black female governor.

The headline on screen blared: “Abrams Wins Democratic Primary in Georgia; Could Become Nation’s First Black Female Governor.”

“The latest primaries for the November election are adding to a historically diverse field of candidates,” co-host John Dickerson announced while introducing a full report on CBS This Morning about the election results. Correspondent Ed O’Keefe emphasized: “Last night’s results set up some potentially historic elections this November.”

The reporter highlighted the same candidates as ABC and NBC:

Let’s start in Georgia, where Democrats voted overwhelmingly for Stacey Abrams, a state legislator, to be their nominee for governor. She’s the first black woman in U.S. history to be a gubernatorial nominee, and if she wins, she would be Georgia’s first black governor ever. But she faces long odds. Georgia hasn’t elected a Democrat as governor since 1999.

Down in Texas, Lupe Valdez, the former sheriff of Dallas County, becomes the first openly lesbian and Latina candidate to win a major party gubernatorial nomination in Texas. But she faces the popular incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott.

The headline on screen drove the point home: “Primary Trailblazers; GA Candidate Could Become First Black Female Governor In U.S. History.”

Like ABC, O’Keefe admitted that Democrats running for office in such conservative states were long shots, but never actually pointed to their liberal policy positions.

Wednesday’s coverage on ABC and CBS must have sounded familiar to many viewers, since it was nearly identical to how the same morning shows covered other primaries earlier in the month. On May 16, GMA and This Morning cheered the “pink wave” of Democratic women winning contests in various states.

All this glowing coverage basically serves as an in-kind campaign contribution to Democrats ahead of November’s midterm elections. The media message to voters is clear: Democrats are making history, don’t you want to vote for history?

Here is a full transcript of the May 23 report on GMA:

7:08 AM ET

ROBIN ROBERTS: Now the results from those primary elections in four states overnight, women winning big. Fighter pilot Amy McGrath getting a surprise victory in Kentucky, beating Lexington Mayor Jim Gray in the Democratic primary for a House seat there.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Women Win Big In Key Primaries; Candidate for Georgia Governor Makes History]

And history being made in Georgia. Stacey Abrams won the Democratic primary for governor, making her the nation’s first black woman to lead a major party’s ticket for governor. And here’s what she said after the win.

STACEY ABRAMS: We are writing the next chapter of Georgia’s future, where no one is unseen, no one is unheard, and no one is uninspired! [Cheers and applause] I hope that you will all join us in our fight for the future! [Cheers and applause]

ROBERTS: And if she wins in November, she’ll be the first African-American woman governor in this country, and also the first woman governor of Georgia.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Of Georgia.

MICHAEL STRAHAN: Wow.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It would only be the third African-American governor in the state. Of course it is a long shot down there in Georgia.

But what a night for women last night as well. This is really shaping up to be the year of the women as we head into these midterm elections. Not only Stacey Abrams, Amy McGrath, also in Texas, a Latina, Lupe Valdez. A Latina, gay Latina, now the Democratic nominee for governor there. Again, a long shot, but a big win in the primary.

ROBERTS: Progress, that’s right.

Here is a full transcript of the report on CBS This Morning:

7:10 AM ET

JOHN DICKERSON: The latest primaries for the November election are adding to a historically diverse field of candidates. Four states voted yesterday. The most notable winners included women and first-time candidates. Ed O’Keefe is on Capitol Hill with what these results could mean. Ed, good morning.

ED O’KEEFE: Good morning, John. Last night’s results set up some potentially historic elections this November. Let’s start in Georgia, where Democrats voted overwhelmingly for Stacey Abrams, a state legislator, to be their nominee for governor.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Primary Trailblazers; GA Candidate Could Become First Black Female Governor In U.S. History]

She’s the first black woman in U.S. history to be a gubernatorial nominee, and if she wins, she would be Georgia’s first black governor ever. But she faces long odds. Georgia hasn’t elected a Democrat as governor since 1999.

Down in Texas, Lupe Valdez, the former sheriff of Dallas County, becomes the first openly lesbian and Latina candidate to win a major party gubernatorial nomination in Texas. But she faces the popular incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott. John?

DICKERSON: Ed, primary fights are often about the shape of parties rather than the shape of –  between the two parties. So what did we learn about Texas’s seventh district last night, among the Democrats?

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Texas Testing Ground; 7th Congressional District Has Importance to Both Parties]

O’KEEFE: Yeah, it’s a significant race. And this is a district that encompasses part of Houston. Because we often see outside the state or national Republican or Democratic officials try to come in and sway the results. They did that in this race. A woman named Lizzie Pannill Fletcher beat the activist Laura Moser.

Fletcher had been backed by the National Democratic Campaign Committee, while Moser was backed by progressive groups and Senator Bernie Sanders. But some national Democrats were worried about some comments Moser had made about moving home to run for the seat. She said that just last year. They worry that Republicans would use those controversial comments against her.

There was a slightly different result in a Kentucky congressional race.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: First Time’s a Charm; Retired Marine & Teacher Get Wins in First Campaigns in KY Races]

A former Marine Lieutenant Colonel, Amy McGrath, came from behind and beat the national Democratic party’s preferred candidate, former mayor of Lexington, to take on another Republican incumbent who Democrats believe they can knock off this November.     

DICKERSON: Ed, thanks.

NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2018 Governors 2018 Congressional Liberals & Democrats ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Robin Roberts Savannah Guthrie Ed O'Keefe Stacey Abrams Amy McGrath

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