We all have our stereotypes regarding the two presidential candidates of arguably the worst election in a long time: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. When I and many others picture Donald Trump, we think of his promise to wall dividing Mexico and the US (even though it kind of already exists in the form of chain linked fences and intense security); Hillary Clinton seems to conjure thoughts of manipulative e-mails and corporate influence. How do these two candidates compare in terms of their word choice for their speeches?
The Process: Trump’s Speech at the Republican National Convention
The following steps were taken to create a graph and a word cloud for Trump’s RNC Speech. See the notebook here for the code (locked to prevent editing)!
- Get the transcript (source for this speech)
- Remove punctuation and unneeded words (articles, auxillary verbs, etc.), then split the words into different lists
- Make all of the words lowercase
- Tally and sort the data
- Generate visuals
The above steps were repeated for several speeches for a total of two per candidate.
Hillary’s DNC Speech (source):
Trump’s Youngstown, Ohio Immigration Speech (source):
Hillary’s South Carolina Speech (source)
Both candidates use the words “we” and “our” frequently to reinforce a sense of unity within their respective parties. Oddly enough, Clinton seems to use the pronoun “you” much more often than Trump. They also address each other semi-frequently, most likely because they refute each other’s arguments.
Clinton uses the words “together” and “communities” more often than Trump, who underscores “immigration” and “Terrorism.” This may have been the result of the speeches I chose. Trump also mentions ISIS frequently and focuses on the dangers immigrants may bring. This is consistent with his views of immigration. On the other hand, Clinton focuses more on bringing people together or how her campaign was supported. She probably wants to gain empathy from her audience, focusing on how well they have done as a whole.
…I don’t have much experience with text manipulation and analysis, though. My process may have several mistakes.
It isn’t very surprising that some Americans are looking for a hard-nosed leader like Donald Trump while others are looking for a candidate with somewhat safer ideas like Hillary Clinton (personally, I don’t like either of them very much but to each their own). 2016 is proving to be a disastrous year, though not quite the worst as some claim.