What rage? ‘Disappointment’ and ‘frustration’ outdistance ‘anger’ and ‘rage’ by 275 percent

    Obama
    Anger and rage: 27%
    Disappoint and frustration: 73%

GLM has also found that the top three subjects linked to “anger” and “rage” outside the administration are health care reform, the various actions termed bailouts, and the initial stimulus package, formally named the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

    Anger
    Health care reform: 52%
    Stimulus package: 33%
    Bailout: 15%

GLM has found “anger” and “rage" to appear far less in the media on the Internet, blogs and social media sites than one might expect from reading the headlines. In the last 30 days, the New York Times used the word “rage” in political contexts some 70 times, a far greater percentage than what was found in the overall media, on the Internet, the blogosphere and in social media. For example, the phrase “incumbent rage” is highlighted as a major trend of the midterm elections. Once again, the use of this phrase and variations is noteworthy only in their dearth of references.

World-wide news searches find that “anti-incumbent” appears about 550 times in the global media in the last 30 days, of which some 20 percent of the references appear in the AP, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and the Wall Street Journal, while “anti-incumbent rage” appears twice. In comparison, the word incumbent appears some 19,000 times.

    Global media percentage of total
    Incumbent: 96.97%
    Anti-incumbent: 3.02%
    Anti-incumbent rage: 0.01%

When you add in the Internet, the blogs and social media as well as the top 5,000 global media, the total number of citations approaches 20,000,000 and reflect a broader dialogue about the topic. However, “anti-incumbent rage” still hovers below one percent.

    Internet percentage of total
    Incumbent: 99.16%
    Anti-incumbent: 0.80%
    Anti-incumbent Rage: 0.05%

Over the last several decades, the political cognoscenti have bemoaned the lack of competitiveness of congressional elections. Both parties, of course, have done all within their power to keep it that way, primarily through the gerrymandering of districts to their own benefit. The latest trend is to create “majority-minority” districts that virtually ensure the election of a member of a specific demographic group.

In 2010, various news organizations estimate that there are between 35 and 80 competitive congressional districts, or districts “in-play”. This is, of course, attributed to “voter” and/or “anti-incumbent rage.” Even so, this means that a majority of districts, ranging from 92 percent to 81 percent are still considered non-competitive. To our way of thinking, this is a very important development – and one that should be further encouraged.

    Congressional Districts: 435
    Competitive Maximum (80): 18.39%
    Competitive Minimum (35): 8.05%

In a related finding, GLM found that overall the Tea Party is viewed more positively than negatively, by a small percentage of the overall number of citations.


    Tea Party
    Positive Associations: 54%
    Negative associations: 46%

We will discuss this further in What the Top Political Buzzwords Tell Us about the Vote, Part III.

Paul JJ Payack is president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor. To view his previous article please click here.

GLM's Top Political Buzzwords are based on the Narrative Tracker Index. Narrative Tracker is based on the national discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic, at any point in time. Narrative Tracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the print and electronic media, as well as new social media sources (such as Twitter). In addition to the NTI, the NarrativeTracker Arc™ follows the rise and fall of sub-stories within the main narrative to provide a comprehensive overview of the narratives being tracked.

More in Economy & Budget

Why road rage between bigger trucks and longer trains

Read more »