Update — Spin in US Presidential Election

I’ve looked at the spin in the speeches in the last few weeks, more or less since the convention. The overall picture has remained very similar to earlier stages: Obama’s levels of spin are relatively high compared to McCain’s.

Here is the overall spin plot:

Spin between the conventions and the last week of October

Spin between the conventions and the last week of October

Here are the plots over time for McCain:

McCain's spin

McCain's spin

and Obama:

The most interesting thing here is how much Obama’s level of spin has dropped in the last few speeches. This is very similar to what happened in the weeks (late February) when it became clear that he would get the Democratic nomination. When he feels sure of himself, he steps out from behind his election facade and presents himself much more openly. The extremely low-spin speech is his comedy routine at the Al Smith dinner — presumably the expectation that he should be funny rather than serious made him feel as if he had permission to be himself.

McCain’s high-spin speeches are those when he gives economic history lessons, unlike his typical speech in which he puts more of himself.


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