Analysists from Grammarly looked at all the general election debate transcripts since the 1960s word for word and found Presidential candidates have greatly simplified their language since. This is true for both Republicans and Democrats, but it seems the simple language has only helped Republicans. Simpler rhetoric corresponds to lower poll results for Democrats, the analysis suggests.
Donald Trump, whose speeches were classed by a previous study as typical of students aged 11 or younger, uses the simplest language out of all the analyzed candidates. Grammarly says Trump uses complex sentences only 3.3 percent of the time. The research suggests his monosyllabic rhetoric is an important factor that helped him rank so well in polls and elections.
The Presidential candidates’ language was given a complexity score by an algorithm that looked at such things as sentence length, frequency of the passive voice, non-restrictive clauses or proper complex adjective order.
Concerning Democrats, Hilary Clinton used complex sentences 7.87 percent of the time, while for Bernie Sanders this happened 5.51 percent of the time.
Historically, both Democrats and Republicans used far more complex language. During the 1960 debates, Democrat John F. Kennedy had 12.3 percent of sentences that contain complex language. Republican Ronald Reagan ranked among the most complex speakers on the list having used complex sentences 13.8 percent of the time in 1984.