A Semantic Analysis of the Final Presidential Debate

As they did with the first presidential debate and the second, Expert System has released their semantic analysis of the third and final presidential debate. According to the company, "In this debate, Governor Romney spoke more, using shorter sentences with a slightly simpler construction (a total of 554 clauses with an average of two prepositions per clause), versus President Obama who used approximately three prepositions per clause (for a total of 393 clauses). As in the previous two debates, the language style and words choice of both candidates can be classified as usual or common, and likely reflect the candidates’ attempts to reach a wide and diverse electorate."

The article continues, "Semantic analysis distinguishes the most important words and concepts being conveyed in text, determined by a sophisticated algorithm and not by frequency. Looking at the word choices that shaped the candidates’ responses, semantic analysis highlights the contextual aspects that differentiate them. For example, while the main categories of the candidates’ responses were similar ('politics' was in first place for both, and 'military,' 'economics' and 'commerce' were in both the candidates’ top four), the main words or concepts within the categories diverged a bit. Within this context, the concept of America as expressed as 'America' or 'country' was cited in first position for both, followed by Obama’s focus on 'China', 'work', 'Israel' , 'small business' and 'military'. Romney cited 'government', 'Pakistan', 'Syria', 'Iran' and 'military'."

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy Expert System