(CNN) — In the final days of the campaign, Americans have the coronavirus and the latest presidential debate in mind when asked what they have seen, read or heard about President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
The main word associated with Biden in the week ending October 25 was “debate,” referring to the second and final confrontation between Biden and Trump. “Coronavirus” topped Trump’s list, as in 14 of the last 17 weeks of polls. That word is closely followed by “debate.”
These findings come from The Breakthrough, a poll by CNN, SSRS, the University of Michigan and Georgetown University that tracks what Americans remember about the news of each of the presidential candidates.
The results suggest that Americans also remembered the news about Trump’s rallies – which made it to the top five in the past two weeks – as mentions of words related to the campaign activity of the two candidates increased. . “Lie” is the most notable negative word on Trump’s list this week, coming in seventh, higher on the list than last week.
On Biden’s side, the second most-mentioned word after the debate was “son.” The result marks the second week in a row that “son” is near the top of Biden’s list. When combined with other words related to published emails purporting to detail Biden’s son Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine and China, the whole issue remains one of Biden’s top three for the second week in a row.
Trump, Republican allies in Congress and the conservative media took advantage of emails in the final weeks of the election to attack the Democratic candidate. CNN has not determined the authenticity of those emails. The FBI, for its part, is investigating whether they are related to an ongoing Russian disinformation effort targeting the former vice president’s campaign, according to a US official and a Congressional source briefed on the matter.
Republicans polled were much more likely to mention the Hunter Biden story than Democrats. Those mentions were concentrated among Republicans over 50. Overall, about 3 in 10 in that group recalled hearing about the issue, roughly double the proportion that brought up the issue among younger Republicans. Fewer than 1 in 10 Democrats of all ages mentioned something related to this issue when asked what they had heard about Biden recently.
The sentiment towards Trump and Biden
In general, sentiment towards the two candidates did not change significantly in the last week. Sentiment expressed toward Biden remained slightly more positive than sentiment toward Trump.
An analysis of how the word value of the past three weeks affects those overall sentiment measures reveals which words for each candidate are most likely to be used in conjunction with positive expressions and increase the overall sentiment score, and which ones are most likely to have the opposite, negative effect.
There are some commonalities between the responses about Biden and Trump: “Plan” and “job” are often associated with positive sentiment for both candidates, as is “economy.” “Lie” is a clearly negative word for both.
Although the positive or negative sentiment expressed in these responses may not directly correlate with the views of the candidates in general terms, the findings point to the types of messages that could have the greatest impact in the final days of the campaign.
In Biden’s case, “healthcare” is overwhelmingly positive, and “Obama” lands near the top of his list of most positive words. On Trump’s side, “economy” and “America” are clearly positive aspects. Here is the breakdown of positive and negative impact words for each candidate:
Words of most positive impact for Trump
In English, in parentheses in Spanish
- America (United States)
- Feel (Sentir)
- Trail (Campaign)
Words of most positive impact for Biden
- Person (Persona)
- Guy (Chico)
Words with the most negative impact for Trump
- Many (Muchos)
- Family (Familia)
- Lie (Mentira)
- They are (Son)
Words of most negative impact for Biden
- They are (Son)
- Basement (Basement)
- Lie (Mentira)
“China” is among the most negative words for both candidates. “Spread” and “tweet” are among Trump’s most negative, while “son” and “basement” are among Biden’s most negative.
Among the words associated with negative sentiment toward Biden are “mental” and “old,” both part of Trump’s frequent criticism of the former vice president.
In general terms, the words with the most positive associations for both candidates had a similar level of impact in each case. However, negative words for Trump had a greater negative impact than more negative words for Biden.
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.