Posts Tagged 'rnc'

Comparing the Democratic and Republican convention spin

Just to round out the picture, here’s data comparing the levels of spin across the speeches from both conventions.

Spin levels in both conventions

Spin levels in both conventions

As usual, high spin is indicated by the red end of the line. Here are the spin scores for all of the speeches analyzed (positive numbers are high spin):

1. Bush 0.40
2. Thompson 1.71
3. Lieberman -0.73
4. Romney 4.36
5. Huckabee -1.8
6. Giuliani 2.97
7. Palin -0.62
8. McCain -7.38
9. M. Obama -1.24
10. Hillary Clinton 2.43
11. Bill Clinton 0.99
12. Biden -1.35
13. Obama 0.31

The relative positions don’t change much when compared to the other party. Within each party, there’s the same division into high- and low-spin speakers. McCain’s overall spin is still so low that it makes all of the other politicians look as if they are clustered quite close together, but there are actually quite large differences between them.

Note the cluster of Bush, Palin, Bill Clinton, and Biden who have very similar speech patterns. Perhaps this is the sign of a successful politician?

RNC convention spin summary

McCain’s speech last night had extremely low spin, mostly because of the very high rate of first-person singular pronoun use, almost twice the rate of Bush and Huckabee. It’s so large that it almost washes out the differences in the rates of use of other word classes.

Here’s the plot:

RNC speech spin

RNC speech spin

The speeches are in chronological order: 1 – Bush, 2-Thompson, 3-Lieberman, 4-Romney, 5-Huckabee, 6-Giuliani, 7-Palin, 8-McCain.

Note the alternating pattern of high and low spin, which is also characteristic of speeches on the campaign trail. We suspect that this is the result of (probably subconscious) awareness of spin that feeds into the scheduling.

The actual spin scores (positive means high spin are)

Bush -0.92
Thompson 4.02
Lieberman -0.95
Romney 2.43
Huckabee -1.88
Giuliani 3.72
Palin 1.17
McCain -7.58 (!!)

Spin in the RNC convention speeches

I’ll do a complete analysis after McCain’s speech tonight, but so far:

High spin: Thompson, Romney, Giuliani — all about the same level of spin but for different reasons.

Low spin: Bush, Lieberman, Huckabee — all about the same

Palin’s level of spin is almost exactly in between these two groups.

Of course, adding McCain’s speech to the mix may change the absolute positions of these speeches, as Obama’s did to the Clintons’ speeches at the DNC (see last week’s posts).

I’ll do the combined analysis too, to get a sense of how different the two parties are in their lanaguage use — stay tuned.