Scott Pelley to Sit Down With Hillary Clinton on 'CBS Evening News' Ahead of Nevada Caucus
The 2016 presidential campaigns continue to be a boon for TV news.
Scott Pelley on Thursday will anchor the CBS Evening News from Las Vegas, where he'll sit down with Hillary Clinton. The state — which will hold its Democratic and Republican caucuses on Feb. 20 and 23, respectively — has become a critical battleground, as the presidential race remains volatile on both sides. According to a CNN poll released Feb. 17, Clinton leads Sanders in Nevada by only 1 point, with 48 percent of likely caucus goers leaning toward Clinton and 47 coalescing behind Sanders — this after Clinton narrowly beat Sanders in Iowa and Sanders scored a decisive victory in New Hampshire.
Meanwhile, the Republican field is shifting again days ahead of Saturday's South Carolina primary. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll has Ted Cruz ahead of Donald Trump nationally, with 28 percent supporting Cruz and 26 percent backing Trump. The poll, conducted after the New Hampshire primary, showed Marco Rubio at 17 percent, followed by John Kasich (11 percent), Ben Carson (10 percent) and Jeb Bush (4 percent). As the poll shows, Bush is fighting for survival on the campaign trail and an allusion to that earlier this week by CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett, who recounted some Twitter comments about Bush, drew an indignant demand for an apology from the Bush campaign. (A CBS News spokesperson declined to comment, and the network has not issued an apology.)
Pelley's Clinton interview will air at the top of Thursday's Evening News. Charlie Rose will be on hand at the network's broadcast center in New York to helm the rest of the newscast. Pelley also will lead the network's primetime coverage on March 1 for Super Tuesday, when voters in a dozen states — including Colorado, Tennessee and Virginia — will head to the polls.
The campaign continues to be a boon for TV networks, with a slate of highly watched debates kicking off last summer, when a record 24 million viewers tuned in to the first GOP debate on Fox News. CBS News has the most watched debate of the current year, with 13.5 million viewers tuning in for the network's Republican face-off on Feb. 13. So far this season, the CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley is up 3 percent in viewership (to 7.6 million) and even in the 25–54 demographic (1.5 rating).