Top Concerns of the American Electorate


‘Change’, ‘Cataclysmic Events,’ and ‘Global Financial Tsunami’ Dominate Top Ten Concerns of the American Electorate on Nov. 4, 2008

According to the Global Language Monitor’s Linguistic Analysis


Austin, TX, USA November 4, 2008 – In an analysis completed just hours before voting began for the 2008 the US Presidential Elections, Austin, Texas-based Global Language Monitor has found that ‘Change’, ‘‘Cataclysmic Events,’ and ‘Global Financial Tsunami’ related words and phrases dominate the Top Ten Concerns of the American Electorate on Nov. 4, 2008.


The results are based on an on-going 18-month analysis of the political language and buzzwords used throughout the presidential since before the primaries began.  GLM’s uses its PQI Index, a proprietary algorithm that scours the global print and electronic media, the Internet, and blogosphere for ‘hot’ political buzzwords and then ranks them according to year-over-year change, acceleration and directional momentum.  Political buzzwords are terms or phrases that become loaded with emotional freight beyond the normal meaning of the word.    


Top Ten Concerns of the American Electorate on November 4, 2008.


1.     Change is key.  Change favors Obama over McCain 3:2.

2.     Cataclysmic events, global warming and climate change rank higher than all other issues except change.   

3.     The Global Financial Tsunami and related terms permeate the Election and is that persistent low-humming heard in the background.

4.     Experience counts.  Experience favors McCain over Obama 4:3.

5.     Concerns persist about Obama’s experience, background, and past and current associations.

6.     Gender is ongoing issue:  it began with Hillary and continues with Palin though it is disguised in all sorts of well-meaning platitudes.

7.     For many in this campaign, gender actually trumps race. 

8.     For all the concern about race, it actually seems to be having a positive effect on the Obama campaign, in its an ongoing, just beneath the surface dialogue, with millions (both black and white) voting for Obama precisely BECAUSE he is a black man.  This is viewed as separating us (and in some sense liberating us) from a long, painful history.

9.     Working Class Whites IS used as a code word for whites who are working class.  No other moniker, such as Reagan Democrats or Soccer Moms has caught on in this election cycle.

10.  Obama, to his great credit, is no longer perceived as ‘aloof’.



What’s the advantage of the PQI over the Polls?


According to Paul JJ Payack, president and chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor:


 The PQI is, perhaps, the ultimate ‘It is what it is’ measurement of consumer (and in this case Political) sentiment.  The PQI simply measures the occurrence of certain words or phrases in the print and electronic media (traditional or otherwise), on the Internet, and across the Blogosphere.  It is by its very nature non-biased.  When we take a statistical snapshot for the PQI there is no adjustment for ‘underrepresented’ groups, there are no assumptions about probability of turnout, the proportions of newly registered voters, traditional models, or expanded modularities.  Rather we take our measurements, check for the rate of positive or negative change in the appearance of a searched word or phrase (what we call velocity and) and publish our results.


In other words, it is what it is.”


Using this methodology, GLM was the only media analytics organization that foresaw the ’04 electorate voting with their moral compasses rather than their pocketbooks.  


The Top Political Buzzwords for the 2006 Midterm Elections included:  Throes, Quagmire, Credibility, Global Warming, and Insurgency; the Top Political Buzzwords from the 2004 Campaign included:  Swift Boats, Flip Flop, Quagmire, Fahrenheit 911, Misleader, and Liar!



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