Positive words in the campaign

Yesterday I posted about the content of the speeches of the campaigners for the 2012 presidential election cycle: the Republican contenders and President Obama. Today I have similar results for the use of positive words.

Here are the speeches:

The figure should be interpreted like this:  distance from the origin indicates intensity of positive word use; direction indicates the use of a different set of positive words. So President Obama is much more positive than the Republican contenders, of which Gingrich is noticeably more positive than the rest. These are only based on the use of positive words so a placement close to the origin should be interpreted as the absence of positive words, not any kind of negativity (stay tuned). In other words, speeches near the origin are not positive (they could be either neutral or negative but this analysis can’t differentiate).

Some of the positive words associated with President Obama are: “profitable”, “creative”, “efficiency” and “outstanding”.

Some of the positive words associated with Gingrich are: “tremendous”, “optimistic”, “gains”, “happiness”, and “positive” itself.

You can see why the Republican approval numbers are dropping — people pick up on the tone of speeches, and they are attracted to positive language — which they aren’t getting. Even Gingrich’s positive words are mostly about the improvement (perceived) in his chances, not in the wider US situation.

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