Presidential Debate Word Clouds, etc.

I started to make ONE word cloud of the presidential debate tonight, but then I just kept going and I made them for six of the debates.  My main motivation was to see how many times the democrats said the word “coalition” tonight (Answer: 22).  The word clouds contain all words that were mentioned (by either a candidate or a moderator) at least 20 times with blue for Democrat and red for GOP.  I’ve tried to exclude the moderators names and candidates who were in the particular debate (i.e. Trump won’t show up in the Republican word cloud, but he could show up in the Democratic one) though I will admit I didn’t clean this as thoroughly as I would usually because I just wanted to post something tonight.  I also decided not to do stemming for those of you who are interested in that type of detail because I didn’t want, for example, “secretari”showing up the word cloud.



  • The candidates/moderators love talking about “people”.
  • The most notable change over time is the use of the word “ISIS”.  In the Democratic debate on 10/13/2015 “ISIS” was mentioned 4 times.  On 12/19/2015 it was mentioned 55 times.  In the 4 Republican debates used here, “ISIS” was mentioned 27, 3, 11, and 104 times for the debates on 9/16/2015, 10/28/2015, 11/10/2015, and 12/15/2015, respectively.
  • In the 4 Republican debates considered here, Republicans used the word “college” a TOTAL of 9 times across 4 debates.  Democrats mentioned “college” 22 times on 10/13/2015 and 24 times on 12/19/2015.

Other interesting things:

  • On 10/13/2015, “Clinton” was mentioned 110 times and “Sanders” was mentioned 108 times with “O’Malley” uttered 61 times.
  • On 12/19/2015,”Clinton” was mentioned 151 times and “Sanders” was mentioned 121 times with “O’Malley” uttered 70 times.
  • Note: I’m not making a distinction here between when “Clinton” gets mentioned in reference to Bill Clinton or Hillary Clinton.


  • On the Republican side, Trump has been mentioned the most in all 4 of the debates looked at here.  The second most mentions we to Bush, Fiorina, Kasich, and Cruz for the debates on 9/16/2015, 10/28/2015, 11/10/2015, and 12/15/2015, respectively.


The follow-up analysis to this will be to pull out what each specific candidate said and to analyze their individual word frequencies.



Posted on December 20, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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