Donald Trump’s convention speech was the most negative in more than 40 years

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tags: election 2016, Trump, GOP Convention



Donald Trump’s speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention was notable for its tone. As my Post colleagues Philip Rucker and David Fahrentold put it, “Donald Trump painted a dire portrait of a lawless, terrorized nation.” How dire? Consider this: Trump’s speech was the most negative in tone of any convention acceptance speech since 1972.

That is the conclusion of a new analysis by McGill University PhD student Denver McNeney. He measured the tone of each speech by analyzing its content using Lexicoder. This software compares a text to a dictionary of about 4,500 words and phrases that have been categorized as either positive or negative. This provides a sense of whether the text contains more positive or more negative words.

For example, McNeney gave me this example from Trump’s speech: “Any government that fails to do so is a government unworthy to lead.” The software would consider both unworthy and fails to be negative.




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