The Semantics of the Second Presidential Debate

Expert System has performed a semantic analysis of the language used by President Obama and Governor Romney in the second presidential debate: "Findings of the results are based on analysis of the debate transcripts and highlight the semantic differences in the candidates' language, despite the linguistic similarities… A quantitative linguistic analysis shows a greater similarity between the two candidates: Both use more or less the same number of sentences (President Obama with 496 sentences made up of 1,398 prepositions; Governor Romney with 1,406 prepositions spread over 554 sentences), and the same lexical structure in terms of style and word choice (80% of the words used by both candidates are classified as usual or common language). In the first debate, President Obama used longer sentences and a more complex sentence construction."

The analysis continues, "Looking deeper using semantic text analysis and automatic extraction of concepts and entities (such as names of people, places or things), a different picture emerges. The word 'Romney' stands in first place among the most important terms spoken by President Obama, a fact that, along with a slightly greater use of action verbs and the presence of the personal pronoun 'we' (+28% compared to Romney who showed a preference for the first person singular 'I') seem to indicate a more confident and combative incumbent against the challenger."

Stay tuned for analysis of the third debate later today!

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy Flickr/ Cory M. Grenier