Another time trend plot, showing Barack Obama’s relatively faster rise to fame compared to the Clinton brand. Perhaps no surprise as I (in the UK) had never heard of him until the current race.

We can try the same thing with “Recent months”, and it comes up with a similar answer: Obama is on a roll, but a word of warning, these time trend plots are solely dependent on the presence of certain words and numbers (e.g. “March” and “2008″ on the same page – but wait, what about a page with this text: “A march for climate change awareness which took place in January 2008″ – that would count for March 2008 too). Google have also started parsing dates from content in their timeline view of their new experimental service. Anyway, here’s the plot:

Now let’s get personal… let’s see how the democratic candidates rank for qualities such as “courageous” and “honest”. You’ll have to click on the plot to be able to read the x-axis labels, because there are so many and the font ended up very small.

What does this say about the candidates? Well they have reasonably different profiles – Hillary Clinton is most polite, compassionate, pessimistic, hostile while Barack Obama is most polite, hostile, optimistic and pessimistic. Optimistic and pessimistic at the same time? Yes it’s possible to be reported in the web media as both. Looking further down the graph, Obama comes out more generous, friendly and creative than Clinton.

How about on policy?

Here we see a big emphasis on the State Department for Obama, but clicking through (follow the high/low links below the plot on the main compare stuff page) we see that this is due to recent news items about dodgy officials looking at Obama’s passport records. We also see Hillary Clinton’s involvement with homeland security, and a slight lead on education for Barack Obama.

And now for something more lighthearted:

Ooh hunky Obama…

One Response to “Better late than never on the US 2008 election bandwagon”

  1. Bob Says:

    I should add that a lot of web pages mention both candidates, but we can do something like this to remove that bias, and we actually get a clearer trend (of Obama’s rise to fame).

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