Political Metaphors in U.S. Governor Speeches
42 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2022
Date Written: December 9, 2022
How do politicians use metaphors in their speeches? To provide evidence on this question, we apply a deep-learning-based metaphor detection model to a historical corpus of annual State of the State speeches given by U.S. governors, ranging from 1995 to 2022. Across 9 socio-economic topics, we present the following descriptive findings. First, metaphors are most commonly used on fiscal and economic issues. Second, Democratic governors employ more metaphors on environmental issues relative to Republican governors, who in turn express more metaphors on moral values. Third, we confirm that the language used to express political metaphors is emotionally charged, with a degree of heterogeneity. Our emotion scores increase the most in presence of a metaphor on subjects related to the economy, fiscal issues, and moral values.
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