Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Presidential words

February 25th, 2009, 8:48am by Sam Wang

Via James Fallows, whose insights about presidential (and candidate) performances are worth following, here’s an interesting tool: SpeechWars, by Ben Reis. SpeechWars shows, over history, how often presidents have used a particular word in a State of the Union address. Although Obama’s address to the joint session of Congress is technically not a SOTU address, it’s counted here. For example, here are the relative frequencies of the word “war” and “banks” (click image for a high-resolution version):


Tags: Politics

One Comment so far ↓

  • James

    Does anyone else find it a bit disturbing that peaks in the mention of “banks” are typically followed a few years later by peaks for “war” ?