The more observant among you will notice that we’ve made a change to the Wonkosphere home page and have added a new Mud Meter tab. This is a reprise of a similar service we ran during the 2004 election, to keep track of who is saying more negative things about their opponent from day to day.
The calculations are based on press releases and speech transcripts from the candidates’ official web sites. The Mud Meter shows, on a 1 to 10 scale, how negative the language is in sentences mentioning the opponent. The value is an average over the previous week.
The Mud Meter tab shows these values for each candidate over the last 30 days, as well as the number of mentions. It also gives influential words each candidate is associating with the other over the last week.
The story so far is that Obama is just not mentioning McCain very much, compared to McCain’s mentions of Obama. OTOH it appears that he got the message from disgruntled dems about not hitting back hard enough, considering the large jump in his mud meter value over the last week or so.
We have also noticed that Obama’s campaign doesn’t seem to be nearly as conscientious about updating their web site as McCain’s. How strange, given that Obama is supposed to be the hipster and has a more sophisticated web operation in other ways.
Because there are only two candidates people are seriously talking about anymore, we also replaced the bar chart showing buzz share with a pie chart showing McCain, Obama, and all other candidates.
Enjoy! And watch this space for more analysis of the Mud Meter and comparisons to the 2004 campaign.