Donald Trump Is Popular Because He Speaks To Voters Like They’re Fourth-Graders: Study


When Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gave his campaign announcement, he addressed voters using fourth-grade-level speech.

According to the study's analysis, Trump's message was the easiest to grasp if compared to those of the other 19 candidates at the opening presidential speech to the 2016 election.

"The Globe tested each announcement speech using the Flesch-Kincaid readability test, which looks at word choice and sentence length. It then spits out a grade-level analysis of each speech," the study explained.

"Make America Great Again," was the core of Trump's message.

Ben Carson, on the other hand, came through at below sixth-grade level, making his speech the third easiest-to-understand.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton gave a speech with the level of an eighth-grader, and Bernie Sanders spoke a little over the tenth-grade level.

Republican candidates such as Trump, who speak at a level comprehensible even to those at the lower end of the education spectrum, are outperforming their opponents who use highfalutin language to address voters.

Political speech specialists say that today's voters, who live in the 140-character era are bound to favor simple language, particularly in choosing their candidate.

"There's no time to explain in modern politics,'' stated Wesleyan University professor Elvin T. Lim.

The tycoon-turned-presidential-aspirant seems to have taken this strategy to heart as his vocabulary is filled with words such as "beautiful," "terrible" and "huge." He gives no second thought to labelling one of his opponents, Jeb Bush, whom he referred to as "low-energy."

"Trump is talking about things that are emotional, simple and angry. He's not talking about the complexity of international affairs. It's, 'Let's take their oil!' It doesn't have to be a long, drawn-out exegesis of American foreign policy. It's Trump. It's simple," said Florida-based Republican consultant Rick Wilson.

Such occasion reflects a decline in political speech complexity. A review claims that Congress speeches have gone from 11.3 in 1996 to 10.6 in 2012. The said review employed the same algorithm used to analyze Trump's speech. President Abraham Lincoln's 1863 "Gettysburg Address" was rated as 11th-grade level, while President George Washington's "Farewell Address" was found to be at grade 17.9.

Lim explains that our current media environment favors those who speak in "pithy sound bites."

"At some point enough is enough. If you continue drawing these lines, you're going to hit comic strip levels ... There are real costs to oversimplification," he adds.

Don't forget to follow T-Lounge on Twitter and visit our Facebook page.

ⓒ 2018 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Real Time Analytics