Networks Split on Declaring Donald Trump GOP’s ‘Presumptive Nominee’

ABC and NBC say the race isn’t over until it’s over — but CNN’s Wolf Blitzer was comfortable calling it in Trump’s favor

Donald Trump became the likely GOP presidential nominee on Tuesday night when he dominated Indiana and Ted Cruz suspended his campaign, but news networks are split on whether he’s the “presumptive nominee.”

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus used the term in a tweet before saying, “We all need to unite and focus on defeating Hillary Clinton.”

Just because the head of the RNC thinks Trump is the “presumptive nominee” doesn’t make it official. NBC political director Chuck Todd tweeted, “At NBC we don’t use the phrase ‘presumptive nominee’ until that candidate hits the magic number or all but one drop out.”

ABC agreed with NBC when its political director, Rick Klein responded to Todd.

“Same standard applies for us at ABC. He’s highly likely to be the nominee, but not the presumptive nominee,” Klein wrote.

Meanwhile, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer said, “I think it’s safe to say Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party” during last night’s coverage of the Indiana primary.

On Fox News, Bret Baier didn’t use the P-word but came awfully close.

“As of tonight, with Ted Cruz getting out of this race, Donald Trump will be the GOP nominee,” Baier said.

Todd later explained how NBC would handle the situation going forward. “We will continue to refer to Clinton and Trump as ‘likely’ nominees until either Sanders/Kasich drop or they hit 2383/1237,” he tweeted.

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