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Semantic text analysis of the first debate – Trump vs Hillary

donald-trump-vs-hillary-clinton-debate

The US presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has come to the finish line. We have decided to perform a semantic text analysis of the first debate using IntenCheck technology. The transcript of the text was taken from:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/09/26/the-first-trump-clinton-presidential-debate-transcript-annotated/.

The results

Emotions

emotions_trumpvshillary

The predominant emotion in Trump’s speech was Sadness, which is understandable. He was disappointed with what the current domestic and foreign policy of the USA has led to, and is not ready to put up with it:

“…Our country is suffering because people like Secretary Clinton have made such bad decisions in terms of our jobs and in terms of what’s going on. Now, look, we have the worst revival of an economy since the Great Depression”.

“…When we have a country that’s doing so badly, that’s being ripped off by every single country in the world, it’s the kind of thinking that our country needs, because everybody — Lester, we have a trade deficit with all of the countries that we do business with, of almost $800 billion a year”.

“…But you look at Dallas, where the relationships were really studied, the relationships were really a beautiful thing, and then five police officers were killed one night very violently”.

“…That’s why we’re losing — we’re losing — we lose on everything”.

Unlike Donald Trump, Hillary was less emotional. This is clearly seen in the diagram above.

Attitude

Next we looked at the Attitude category.

attitude_trumpvshillary

As you can see Hillary’s speech should have made a better impression on the audience. Her speech was very Positive and Active, and exceptionally Strong:

“…You have to judge us, who can shoulder the immense, awesome responsibilities of the presidency, who can put into action the plans that will make your life better”.

“…Independent experts have looked at what I’ve proposed and looked at what Donald’s proposed, and basically they’ve said this, that if his tax plan, which would blow up the debt by over $5 trillion and would in some instances disadvantage middle-class families compared to the wealthy, were to go into effect, we would lose 3.5 million jobs and maybe have another recession”.

“…But it’s because I see this — we need to have strong growth, fair growth, sustained growth”.

“…We have to restore trust between communities and the police. We have to work to make sure that our police are using the best training, the best techniques, that they’re well prepared to use force only when necessary”.

The Positive attitude of her speech reflect in the following sentences:

“…That means jobs in infrastructure, in advanced manufacturing, innovation and technology, clean, renewable energy, and small business, because most of the new jobs will come from small business”.

“…If you help create the profits, you should be able to share in them, not just the executives at the top”.

“…And we need to have smart, fair trade deals”.

“…So I know how to really work to get new jobs and to get exports that helped to create more new jobs”.

The Trump’s speech scores are much lower in almost all the Attitude categories.

Communication Style

When comparing Communication Styles of both participants, Trump’s speech was more sensory rich. He uses different sensory channels (Visual, Audial and Kinesthetic) in order to deliver his message.

communicationstyle_trumpvshillary

His preferable communication channels were Audial:

“…And then you heard what I said about it, and all of a sudden you were against it”.

“…Or, as I’ve been saying for a long time, and I think you’ll agree, because I said it to you once, had we taken the oil — and we should have taken the oil — ISIS would not have been able to form either, because the oil was their primary source of income”.

“…Well, I have to say that, you know, for what Secretary Clinton was saying about nuclear with Russia, she’s very cavalier in the way she talks about various countries”.  

“…But I will tell you that Hillary will tell you to go to her website and read all about how to defeat ISIS, which she could have defeated by never having it, you know, get going in the first place”.

…as well as Visual:

“…Under my plan, I’ll be reducing taxes tremendously, from 35 percent to 15 percent for companies, small and big businesses…It’s going to be a beautiful thing to watch”.

“…And all you have to do is look at Michigan and look at Ohio and look at all of these places where so many of their jobs and their companies are just leaving, they’re gone”.

“…You land at LaGuardia, you land at Kennedy, you land at LAX, you land at Newark, and you come in from Dubai and Qatar and you see these incredible — you come in from China, you see these incredible airports, and you land — we’ve become a third world country”.

“…And when I look at what’s going on in Charlotte, a city I love, a city where I have investments, when I look at what’s going on throughout various parts of our country, whether it’s — I mean, I can just keep naming them all day long — we need law and order in our country”.

On the contrary, Clinton preferred a Rational argumentation. This is useful when speaking before a narrow circle of people who have a good education and the habit of critical thinking, but not in front of millions of viewers:

“…So I’ve tried to be very specific about what we can and should do, and I am determined that we’re going to get the economy really moving again, building on the progress we’ve made over the last eight years but never going back to what got us in trouble in the first place”.

“…And I think probably he’s not all that enthusiastic about having the rest of our country see what the real reasons are, because it must be something really important, even terrible, that he’s trying to hide”.

“…Unfortunately, race still determines too much, often determines where people live, determines what kind of education in their public schools they can get, and, yes, it determines how they’re treated in the criminal justice system”.

“…And we recently have learned that, you know, that this is one of their preferred methods of trying to wreak havoc and collect information”.

Timeline

timeline_trumpvshillary

Trump has constantly drawn attention to the mistakes made in the Past by President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but did not pay enough attention to his idea of a better future:

“…The Obama administration, from the time they’ve come in, is over 230 years’ worth of debt, and he’s topped it”.

“…In a place like Chicago, where thousands of people have been killed, thousands over the last number of years, in fact, almost 4,000 have been killed since Barack Obama became president, over — almost 4,000 people in Chicago have been killed. We have to bring back law and order”.

“…Now, whether that was Russia, whether that was China, whether it was another country, we don’t know, because the truth is, under President Obama we’ve lost control of things that we used to have control over”.

“…Well, President Obama and Secretary Clinton created a vacuum the way they got out of Iraq because they got out — what, they shouldn’t have been in, but once they got in, the way they got out was a disaster”.

Hillary refused to criticize the mistakes made in the past and was focused exclusively on the fine Future which looked pretty unconvincing:

“…The central question in this election is really what kind of country we want to be and what kind of future we’ll build together”.

“…I want us to invest in your future. That means jobs in infrastructure, in advanced manufacturing, innovation and technology, clean, renewable energy, and small business, because most of the new jobs will come from small business”.

“…We just have a different view about what’s best for growing the economy, how we make investments that will actually produce jobs and rising incomes”.

“…And other communities need to come together to do what will work, as well”.

Motivation

Timeline estimates correlate with the evaluation of Motivation directions (From or Toward).

direction_trumpvshillary

Similar to the timeline, most important to Trump is to correct past mistakes, that’s why in his speech the predominant motivation direction is Away From:

“…But we have to stop our jobs from being stolen from us. We have to stop our companies from leaving the United States and, with it, firing all of their people”.

“…We have to renegotiate our trade deals, and we have to stop these countries from stealing our companies and our jobs”.

“…Well, the first thing you do is don’t let the jobs leave. The companies are leaving. … They’re leaving, and they’re leaving in bigger numbers than ever”.

“…Now, look, I’m a great believer in all forms of energy, but we’re putting a lot of people out of work. Our energy policies are a disaster. Our country is losing so much in terms of energy, in terms of paying off our debt”.

On the contrary, Hillary Clinton’s motivation is moving Toward To. She does not want to admit past mistakes that why Hillary is more aimed at the future.

“…That means jobs in infrastructure, in advanced manufacturing, innovation and technology, clean, renewable energy, and small business, because most of the new jobs will come from small business. We also have to make the economy fairer. That starts with raising the national minimum wage and also guarantee, finally, equal pay for women’s work”.

“…We just have a different view about what’s best for growing the economy, how we make investments that will actually produce jobs and rising incomes”.

“…So I know how to really work to get new jobs and to get exports that helped to create more new jobs”.

“…Well, I think cyber security, cyber warfare will be one of the biggest challenges facing the next president, because clearly we’re facing at this point two different kinds of adversaries. There are the independent hacking groups that do it mostly for commercial reasons to try to steal information that they can use to make money”.

Perceptual Positions

As expected, the results show that Trump used a lot of Position-I (I, me). He moved from Position-II (You) to Position-III (They) when he criticized the political establishment. Trump used very little unifying Position-IV (We) while Hillary Clinton used it predominantly. In her speech, H. Clinton tried to make an impression that she represented not just her own position but the expectation of the American people.

perceptualpositions_trumpvshillary

In conclusion

The first debate has obviously caused a lot of discussions about who is the winner. We will not name the winner but we can just conclude that in these debates representation of Emotions and Communication Style was preferable in Donald Trump’s speech but Attitude and Perceptual Positions scores higher in Hillary Clinton’s speech.