In a piece posted on his website, Fox News contributor Dick Morris writes that the 2012 Republican primaries "will be different ... The quarter finals will not be waged in the cornfields of Iowa or the former mill towns of New Hampshire. They will be held in the living rooms of America among the Fox News audience!"
From Morris' column, "The GOP primaries of 12 will be held on Fox News":
In 2012, the Republicans and Independents that will choose the GOP nominee will be found watching O'Reilly, Hannity, Beck, Shep Smith, Bret Baer [sic], Megyn Kelly, Steve Doocey [sic], Brian Kilmeade, and Gretchen Carlson. It is on their shows that the early narrowing down process will take place.
Day after day, we will see all the candidates on Fox News. Not just in debates, but in frequent appearances on the opinion and news shows on the network. We will watch how they handle themselves, we'll learn how they answer questions, and we'll come to our decision. As such, the Republican nominating process will come to resemble American Idol where we watch them perform and vote on who we like the best.
When the actual primaries take place, their results will tend to ratify the consensus the country has come to from watching Fox News. Americans will impose their views on the early primaries, not the other way around.
Of course, the final decision will be made in the big state primaries that follow. There, the delegates will be selected to the nominating conventions and the winner will emerge. But the quarter finals will be held on Fox News.
So the quarter finals will be waged over Fox News and ratified by the voters in the early, small state primaries. The semi-finals will take place in the big state primaries later on.
Fox News currently has five contributors on its payroll who are considering a presidential run in 2012.