Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.
We Tell the World What the Web is Thinking +1.512.815.8836
Political Buzzwords Track Trajectory of Obama Presidency
Bailout, Climate Change, Birther, Healthcare Reform & Liberal at top
Obamamania and Politics of Change tumble as does Bush (as a Bogeyman)
Austin, Texas September 11, 2009 (Updated) – ‘Bailout’, ‘Climate Change’, ‘Birther’, ‘Health Care Reform’ and ‘Liberal’ were named the top political buzzwords since the Obama Inaugural. Rounding out the top ten were ‘recession’ (up some 1000% when linked to Obama), ‘Sarah Palin,’ the phrase ‘change you can believe in’ (down some 600% since the Inauguration), ‘AIG bonuses,’ and ‘Sotomayor,’ the new Supreme Court justice. Perhaps, even more striking is the manner in which signature buzzwords such as ‘Politics of change’ (No. 37) and ’Obamanania’ (No. 38) have tumbled. Another finding: the tactic of painting ‘Bush’ (No. 23) and, even, Cheney (No.28) as bogeymen is rapidly losing it effectiveness.
For the study, GLM used it proprietary algorithm, the Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI) to track the frequency of words and phrases in the global print and electronic media, on the Internet, throughout the blogosphere and social media as well as accessing proprietary databases. The PQI is a weighted Index, factoring in: long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity. The final list contains 40 words and phrases (see below).
“The top political buzzwords used since the Obama Inaugural show the sharp trajectory of his presidency,’ said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of The Global Language Monitor. “Our analysis differs from polls in that it is not what people say they think about various topics, but rather is a measurement of what words are actually being used and in which context.”
The Top Political Buzzwords since the Inaugural listes with rank and commentary follow.
Top Political Buzzwords September 1, 2009 Comment
1. Wall Street Bailout: Still resonates at very high score, no shrinkage
2. Climate Change Remains: One of the Top 3 — for several years
3. Birther: Whatever it means, the issue looms large
4. Health Care Reform: Health Care Reform comes in at a strong No. 4
5. Liberal: This is not always a positive statement
6. Recession (linked to Obama): Obama’s link to recession up 1000% since inauguration
7. Sarah Palin: Fierce opposition to her, apparently adds to her allure
8. Change you can believe in: Down almost 60% from January peak
9. AIG (Post-bailout Bonuses): Bonuses after the Bailout still loom large in public mind
10. Sotomayor: Wise Latina gets more news than Iraq War
11. Iraq War: Fading from the public mind as Afghanistan advances
12. Socialism (linked with Obama): Painting Obama as a Socialist apparently working
13. Outrage (Linked with Obama & AIG: Outrage at AIG now linked to Obama administration
14. Public Option in HealthCare: Public Option still center of debate
15. Stimulus Package: Stimulus package still object of controversy
16. MObama (the Fashion Icon): Michelle Obama image as global fashion icon rising rapidly
17. Beer Summit with Gates & Cambridge Police: Beer Summit resonates with all things ‘racial’
18. Middle-class taxes: Concern is up about 170% since Inaugural
19. Current crisis as Depression: Citations down some 50% since January
20. Transparency: Idea of Transparency shrinking from view (down 30%)
21. Obama as a compromiser: Continues to gain traction
22. Rush Limbaugh: Rush bests the former president by only 5%
23. George Bush: Warning to Dems: Bush as Bogey man fading from view
24. Single Payer: Healthcare solution view as government intervention; Up over 800% since Obama took office
25. Death Panel: Up some 1500%, ranking only slightly ahead of Al Qaeda
26. Al qaeda: Still lurking in the public mind
27. Town Hall Meetings: Not to be easily dismissed
28. Dick Cheney: Former No. 2, now No. 28
29. Shovel Ready: Where are all the ‘shovel-ready’ jobs?
30. Global Financial Restructuring: This may take years to run its course
31. Iran election: On the periphery of American consciousness
32. Wise Latina: Short-term news bite, no lasting value
33. Financial meltdown: Down 85% since January as he the new reality sets in
34. Worst Recession: Not depression, but something different than a recession
35. Afghanistan: Troop build-up mostly a Beltway discussion
36. Wee weeing: According to Obama, Washington in late summer
37. Politics of change: Biz as usual sends this plummeting 60% from Inaugural
38. Obamamania: Yesterday’s news; down over 80% from Inaugural
39. Politics of fear: Within 1/2 of 1% of Obamamania
40. Nuclear Iran Drifting in and out of public consciousness
What’s the advantage of the PQI over the Polls?
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 and social media, as well as accessing proprietary databases. 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 momentum) and publish our results.