A Data Scientist 'Reads' 70 Years of State of the Union Addresses:

Statistical analysis of the text shows that current events drive the content just as much as the President, TV changed the SOTU forever, and hyper-partisanship is not just your Imagination.

Jan 11, 2016, 13:34 ET from Exaptive

OKLAHOMA CITY, Jan. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Frank D. Evans, Data Scientist at Exaptive, analyzed 70 years of State of the Union addresses. He found that the times write the SOTU more than the President or the President's party.  The prevalence of TV in American homes, and then cable TV, preceded the rise of the hyper-partisanship that characterizes modern politics.

President Obama is preparing to deliver his final address. The thought of Donald Trump as the next President looms or enthralls. The State of the Union's role as a test of the President's capacity to lead and a checkup on the mood of the country has never been as intensely scrutinized. The President himself, however, may just be the messenger.

"A look at the data shows that the issues of the day may write the address more than the person in office," Mr. Evans finds. And further analysis reveals more detail. "The rise of television took the SOTU from dry and wonky to a mirror of popular political culture," concluded Mr. Evans. Then cable and the 24-hour news cycle ushered in modern partisanship. "Do you feel like partisanship is running amok?" asks Mr. Evans. "It's not your imagination. The modern State of the Union has become hyper-partisan, and topic modeling quantifies that effect."

Mr. Evans' results are explained further in two posts:

Frank D. Evans (@frankdevans), is a data scientist at Exaptive, Inc., with an expertise in Big Data, especially text analysis. His work spans financial, behavioral, and political analytics. Frank recently gave a TEDx talk on how data science can fix gerrymandering: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mv9kscNo5Gc.

Exaptive, Inc. (@exaptive, exaptive.com) is a software company - founded in Cambridge, MA and now based in Oklahoma City, OK - whose mission is to lower the barriers to collaboration and experimentation with data and code, in order to enable new perspectives and facilitate data-driven discoveries.  

 

SOURCE Exaptive



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