Lester Holt in town for NBC Nightly News

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — We know the presidential election is attracting both candidates to NEPA and the national news media is right along with them.

Wednesday night NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, who’s on the road this week “Across America” broadcast from Wilkes-Barre.
Eyewitness News anchor Nick Toma had a chance to catch up with Mr. Holt to chat about how influential Pennsylvania will be in this election, and how the news business is changing in this historic time.

The banks along the Susquehanna took center stage Wednesday. NBC News crews out in NEPA getting a first-hand look at our battleground status. The Keystone State seen as a key to winning the presidency. Mr. Holt keying in on voters, specifically asking why some have flipped parties. This election, loyalties only go so far.

“In some cases their politics has always been a big part of their life, they’re proud to be life long Democrats or life long Republicans, but they see a different landscape, the world is changing around them in many ways, we’ve certainly seen it in this part of Pennsylvania and, you know, all those old loyalties are up for review if you will,” Holt said.

Some, like Olyphant’s Dave Mitchko, who’s gaining national attention for giving out 25,000 Trump signs out of his garage, went from blue to red. Others say the COVID crisis was the final straw. They’re voting Team Biden this time around.

We also talked about the difficulties of doing a live show in a different state every night in the midst of a pandemic. Holt says his crew is taking the same precautions as everyone else. He adds, the pace of news has changed since the pandemic and it’s not always a good thing.

“There used to be such a thing as a slow news day. I haven’t seen one of those in a long time. The country right now is struggling on so many levels. I will tell you there are days that I do the news, I unclip the microphone, sit back and go ‘Wow, that was a tough one’,”Holt said.

And on Tuesday night he says voters need to be patient with election results. Who knows when a winner will be declared?

“We’re an instant gratification society, but I think more than anything, most Americans just want to get this right,” Holt said.

Wednesday night was Holt’s last “Across America” broadcast highlighting battleground states across the country.

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