COMMENTS: Campaign 2016 Coverage: Annual Totals for 2015

1. During 2015, Campaign 2016 logged more than 17 hours of coverage on the broadcast networks' weekday nightly newscasts (ABC, CBS and NBC combined).

2. The annual total of 1031 minutes is higher than any other penultimate year of the last seven Presidential campaigns, except for 2007 (1991 = 146; 1995 = 294; 1999 = 339; 2003 = 167; 2007 = 1072; 2011 = 790).

3. NBC Nightly News has covered Campaign 2016 more heavily than its rivals (417 mins vs ABC 324, CBS 290). NBC spent most time on both the Republican race (278 mins vs ABC 235, CBS 189) and the Democratic race (104 mins vs ABC 76, CBS 69).

4. The Republican race is more than twice as newsworthy than the Democratic race (701 mins vs 248 -- with 82 mins of coverage with no partisan focus). Besides the fact that there are many more Republican candidates than Democratic ones, the GOP debates have made much more news than the Democrats' (123 mins vs 25).

5. Donald Trump is by far the most newsworthy storyline of Campaign 2016, alone accounting for almost a third of all coverage (327 mins or 32%), more than the entire Democratic contest combined. The other GOP candidates, in order of prominence, were Jeb Bush (57 mins), Ben Carson (57), Marco Rubio (22).

6. Hillary Rodham Clinton has been the second most newsworthy candidate (121 mins), with an additional 88 mins devoted to the controversy over her e-mails as Secretary of State and 29 mins to the investigations into the Benghazi Consulate attack. The second most newsworthy Democrat was a non-candidate: 73 mins on Joe Biden's decision not to run.

7. Noticeably under-covered have been the current second-placed candidate in each party's national opinion polls: Ted Cruz has attracted only 21 mins, Bernie Sanders only 20 mins.

NOTE: this post originally contained Year-to-Date numbers for the first eleven months of 2015. Those prelminary data have been updated and replaced by these annual totals. The addition of the final month made no material change to these findings.


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