The visual in the chart above is a graphic representation of what Fox News thinks of voters. It's also a leading indicator of who they're featuring as the Republican nominee.
From May 1 to December 15, leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump lapped the rest of the field in interview airtime on Fox News. Trump's 22 hours and 46 minutes of airtime was more than twice as much as any other candidate during the period studied. Trump racked up more airtime on the network than Sen. Ted Cruz, former Gov. Jeb Bush, and Sen. Marco Rubio combined.
Interviews with the Republican field have been a near-constant fixture of Fox News' programming during the second half of 2015, and The Fox Primary is showing no signs of slowing down as we approach 2016 and the first primaries.
So far this cycle, the network has already surpassed coverage of the 2012 campaign season: During the period studied, Fox News aired more than 117 hours worth of interviews with Republican candidates. Over a similar time frame (June 1 to January 22, 2012), Fox devoted 77 hours and 24 minutes to interviews of the then-candidates. (The disparity is even more striking considering the 2012 report included appearances on Fox News' sister network, Fox Business.)
Lagging well behind Trump were New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Arkansas Governor and former Fox News host Mike Huckabee, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who round out the top five. Each spent less than 10 hours on Fox over the same time period.
The Fox Effect is a real thing, and they're pouring it on for Donald Trump.
My only complaint about this chart is that it's not unique to Fox News. Media Matters should do the same kind of tracking for CNN and MSNBC -- especially MSNBC. After Chris Matthews' disgusting hour-long paean to Trump last week, it's clear they're just following in the larger footsteps of their sister network, Fox News.