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Analyzing Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Speech for Overall Emotional Impact – EffectCheck

Analyzing Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Speech for Overall Emotional Impact

By June 8, 2016Case Studies

After the primary elections on June 7, 2016, Hillary Clinton secured sufficient pledged and superdelegates to become the presumptive presidential of the Democratic party. Her speech following the elections can be found here. Just as I analyzed Donald Trump’s analogous speech using EffectCheck (see the analysis here), I’ve completed a preliminary assessment of Clinton’s address. As expected, the emotions evoked during her address match textbook political speeches.

Figure 1 shows the overall lexical emotion assessment across the six scales of anxiety, hostility, depression, confidence, compassion, and happiness. Her speech evoked above-average confidence, with high levels of compassion and happiness. In contrast, she evoked only low levels of anxiety, hostility, and depression. Her evoked levels of compassion were only rarely below even average levels in political speeches in the EffectCheck database.

Figure 1: Histogram of overall evoked emotions from Clintons’s June 7, 2016 address.

In terms of emotional flow, Figure 2 shows that Clinton kept evoked anxiety low throughout her speech. She also closed with strong levels of compassion, confidence, and happiness, which is typical of political speeches.

Figure 2: The 100-word moving window from EffectCheck assessing Clinton’s speech at the occasion of the conclusion of the primary elections on June 7, 2016.

In contrast to Donald Trump’s frequent off-the-cuff speeches, Clinton’s remarks are virtually always scripted. The EffectCheck analysis here indicates that the emotional content of her remarks was likely crafted to meet specific objectives. As indicated in prior analysis of Trump’s remarks from June 7, it will be interesting to assess how well Trump can also evoke the emotional response that he desires.