Lexical Analysis of the Second 2016 Presidential Debate
Last week, Scripted put our expertise in language analysis to the test in our presidential debate analysis. Today, we’re excited to do the same for Sunday’s town hall debate. In particular, we wanted to see if and how the candidates changed up their style over the course of the week. In addition to extra preparation following the first debate, the second debate’s town hall style encircled candidates with undecided voters asking questions on diverse topics. We found that Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump were, in general, more colloquial and less repetitive, which may be due to the change in style. Below, we break down the data. For more details about these numbers and how we arrived at them, we recommend checking out our explanation in our previous post.
Top Frequent Phrases:Forced to focus on issues brought up by audience members, but also seeking to address their opponents’ weak points directly, both candidates’ top phrases were filled with a mixture of policy topics and widely circulated accusations. You don’t need our presidential debate analysis to tell you that last night’s debate was far more acerbic and aggressive than average – we’ll let the Wall Street Journal do that – but underneath flash and zeal, we saw a conversation that was more sophisticated and varied than last week’s. In that, at least, both candidates are moving in a positive direction.
Scripted’s Presidential Debate Analysis is a joint effort between Boris Vassilev and Ryan Fauver.