International Relations

Did a single word swing the US Election?

2019-01-25 01:27 #0 by: Max

As is well known, though Trump got a decisive majority in the Electoral College, he lost the popular vote by a few million and the real margin for victory was just a few 100k of votes in key states. In this context, I've seen it plausibly argued that a single word was enough to swing the election and bring Trump to power.

Interested if others can guess the word I have in mind?

2019-01-25 08:43 #1 by: Evelina

Decisive? Swing? 

2019-01-27 12:19 #2 by: Max

My vote would be "Deplorables". Hilary lost the election by under 100k votes in 3 key swing mid west states. Its entirely plausible that had she not uttered that word it may have been enough to avoid a Trump Presidency.

2019-01-27 13:45 #3 by: Evelina

I didn’t even hear of this until now! I think there were so many factors to consider that contributed to the results of the 2016 election. But yeah that certainly didn’t help.

From a linguistic standpoint, Hillary had a very slim chance of winning from the start. Unintentionally or not, Trump cleverly used language in a way the appealed to several different classes in the US. In my opinion, Hillary was sort of stuck in a linguistic gender bind. I write a paper about this a year ago for a linguistics course where I analyzed Trump and Hillary’s language. It was really interesting to research.


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