Analysis of Trump and Clinton Speeches

Well, the DNC just wrapped up yesterday, completing this election cycle’s conventions. My family, including both of my kids, watched both conventions every night and found them interesting and, at times, very entertaining.

After listening to both speeches from the two candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I began to wonder about the overall content of the speeches. Which topics were addressed most frequently in each speech and how did this contrast between the two? How did the tone of the two speeches compare? How much time did they spend speaking about their opponents?

Analyzing the Speeches
After pondering these questions, I decided put my data analyst/data viz hat on and take a look at the data. I obtained transcripts of both speeches from (Note: These were the transcripts submitted to the media, rather than the actual speeches as delivered, so they did not include any instances of the candidate going “off script”). I then parsed each speech using a nifty tool from, which counts word frequencies ( Once I had the frequencies of each word, I did some cleanup, removing words which were heavily used by both candidates (America, American, Country, and President, etc.) and filtering out pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, and other types of common words.

From the data, we can make a few observations:
  • Both candidates spent a lot of time speaking about their opponent. Trump mentioned “Hillary” 11 times and “Clinton” 11 times, while Clinton mentioned “Donald” 14 times and “Trump” 16 times.
  • Aside from mentions of Clinton (and the common words I excluded), Trump’s 4 most common words were:
    • Trade – Mentioned 13 times by Trump, but only twice by Clinton
    • Nation – Mentioned 11 times by Trump and 8 time by Clinton
    • Violence – Mentioned 11 times by Trump, but only twice by Clinton
    • Opponent – Mentioned 10 times by Trump, but not at all by Clinton
  • Clinton’s 4 most common words were:
    • Believe – Mentioned 19 times by Clinton, but only once by Trump
    • Working – Mentioned 18 times by Clinton, but only 3 times by Trump
    • Together – Mentioned 16 times by Clinton, but only once by Trump
    • Work – Mentioned 15 times by Clinton and 10 times by Trump
  • Judging by the most common words, there was definitely a more negative tone to the Trump speech, as was largely demonstrated by the RNC as a whole, than the more positive tone of Clinton’s speech.

Word Cloud
After analyzing the data, I thought it would be nice to visualize the word usage, so I used Tableau Public to create word clouds for each candidate, as shown below. If you’d like to interact with the word cloud, feel free to check it out on my Tableau Public page:!/vizhome/ConventionSpeeches/WordCloud



If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. 

Ken Flerlage, July 29, 2016

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