18 June 2008

'Change' is Unchanged on Top of 'Hot-Button' Word List

By Glenn Fannick
Dow Jones Insight Staff

In the Dow Jones Insight index of hot-button words, we see "change" again leading the pack in the period of June 11 to June 17, with 4,747 occurrences in the context of one or the other of the candidates (62% of those were alongside Obama). In second with about half as many mentions was "hope" (this time 60% of those were with Obama). "Experience" was a close third, with McCain getting 56% of those mentions. "Progress," a word McCain tried to use as a counter to "change," did not show forward movement and was fourth; the candidates split that one. The negative issues that were previous high-fliers continued to lag: "bitter," "divisive" and "elitist/elitism" all had scant mentions. And "electability," once an issue everyone focused on, was hardly mentioned last week.

Also of note: The Obama camp has been trying to attach McCain to President Bush whenever it can. While not a hot-button word per se, we are tracking that along with the others. There were only 205 mentions of that concept in seven days.

Methodology: Mainstream press sources include more than 6,000 newspapers, wires, magazines, radio and TV transcripts and more than 13,000 current-awareness news Web sites. Social media sources include 2 million of the most influential blogs and more than 6,000 message boards.

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