04 March 2008

'Change' is still in the air for Obama

By Glenn Fannick
Dow Jones Insight staff

Each of the presidential campaigns works hard at branding its candidate. For some time now the concept of "change" has lead the charge as being the word most coveted -- at least by Democrats.

During the past 30 days, the word "change" was found in the context of Omaba 51,776 times to Clinton's 44,046 times.

Clinton is using "experience" to redirect people away from Obama's "change". Clinton has the lead, albeit by a thinner margin, with 31,407 mentions to Obama's 25,025.

The concept of "progess" has not really taken off for either candidate. It was mentioned only 2,527 times for Clinton to Obama's 2,448.

McCain had many fewer mentions, likely because the GOP race has been essentially over for a while, so he has gotten less coverage overall. Therefore, instead of comparing McCain to the Democrats we can look at the word that stuck to him the most. We see "change" here too, perhaps surprisingly, leading over "experience" with 19,818 mentions to 14,964. "Hope" was mentioned 9,810 times and "progress" a scant 1,698.

We might see "hope" increase a bit around McCain in the days going forward as he used the term multiple times in the speech he gave Tuesday night after gaining enough votes to secure the GOP nomination.

Methodology: The total number of documents analyzed equals 19,014 in the period Feb. 3 to March 3, 2008. The number of mentions exceeds the number of documents as many documents include more than one mention of a candidate's name. "Close proximity" is about 50 words from the candidate's name. Sources in this analysis include more than 6,000 newspapers, wires, magazines, radio and TV transcripts; more than 13,000 current-awareness news Web sites; 2 million of the most influential blogs; and more than 6,000 message boards.

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