Friday, August 7, 2015

GOP Primary Debate Number One: Summary And Text Mining

I had a great time watching last night's GOP debate with my wife.  I missed the crazy on twitter last night due to being 'in-between phones' right now.  But I still watched and enjoyed.  This morning, I couldn't resist an analysis.


My take on the debate, in two sentences per candidate.  (Mostly intended to be humorous).
  1. Marco Rubio.  The US has not elected a man under 6'0" tall to the presidency since 1976.  Rubio is 5'10".
  2. Scott Walker.  Has the same kind of "derp" as Ross from Friends.  May be the best candidate in the field.
  3. Jeb Bush.  Like a smarter, more moderate version of his brother, with less "conservative mojo." Which of course makes him a MUCH worse GOP primary candidate.
  4. Chris Christie.  Makes very pragmatic moderate points for the most part, and seems electable but-for a bridge.  Has "Catholic Dad" syndrome, in that he reminds me of the dads at the Catholic school I attended.
  5. Ben Carson.  He needs to be better prepared. HE NEEDS TO BE BETTER PREPARED.
  6. John Kasich.  He should be glad he was in his home state last night.  Per this morning's mining, Carly Fiorina should have clearly had that spot.
  7. Ted Cruz.  Did his nose start looking that way because he talks to people like that?  Seems like a grown up debate kid with an attitude.
  8. Donald Trump.  Better at sound-bites than I thought he would be.  Still a troll candidate.
  9. Mike Huckabee.  I fell out of my chair when I heard his abortion argument.  Actually I was standing, so I fell from a standing position.
  10. Rand Paul.  Good attack dog, not presidential.  Belongs in the Senate protecting civil liberties.


I downloaded tweets from this morning (approximately 7am - 11am) using the #GOPDebate hashtag and went to analyzing them. First I wanted to know about dominant subjects.  Trump is dominating still, the only other candidate showing up is Carly Fiorina.  

Then I wanted to know which words were most associated with which candidates.  I've used this statistical method before, you can read about it on prior posts.  Here's Huckabee's associated terms, my favorite terms from this are "big government", "downright", "personhood",  "perv", and "jingoist".

Trump is also interesting, for use of words "butt","plug", "fucktrump", "bimbo" and "donzilla"

I created a few more of these down the page, less amusing bust still interesting.


The tweets don't break well into set topics, partially because there is a large breadth of topics from last night, and partially because individuals are going on their own little rant, largely divergent at that.  But I did put together a topic model.  There are some obvious topic breakdowns here.

Of note are: 
A lot of interesting topic areas, but those are the big three, in my opinion. 


A few bullet points from last night:
  • General twitter consensus: Marco Rubio won.
  • Trump is still dominating the conversation of the GOP primary.
  • Carly Fiorina should have been included in the main debate.
  • The interaction between Megyn Kelly and Donald Trump was a wide topic of conversation.

And, some more candidate term associations:

Chris Christie, who is associated with "blowing" something hot, and his interaction with Rand Paul (one of the best exchanges of the night).

And Scott Walker, with a bunch of Wisconsin and union references.

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