Evaluating The Energy Policies of Obama and McCain

Posted on September 16, 2008. Filed under: Customer Insight Portal | Tags: , , , |

The Customer Insight Portal has proven to be uniquely powerful in finding actionable insight and root cause understanding in vast documents. We put that to the test by analyzing the McCain and Obama campaign energy policies as stated by their existing official Web sites, respectively BarackObama.com and JohnMcCain.com.

Starting with McCain, the now immortalized chants of “drill baby drill” do a good job of summing up his official sites. When his Web site discusses “energy”, The Customer Insight Portal shows the bulk of this is focused on oil and the concepts of alternative energy show up pretty far down the list.

Key concepts include drilling and increasing production to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

On the conceptual map, these concepts are tightly grouped showing the close relationships. The green circle theme below is “energy,” and as you can see, the rest of the themes are disjointed.

McCain's Conceptual Map on Energy

McCain's Conceptual Map on Energy

The Obama campaign has outlined a very different energy policy. Sixty percent of the time that “energy” is mentioned it is paired with “renewable.”

When “oil” is mentioned it is paired with “addiction” (77 percent) or “dependence” (72 percent).

The concept map also shows a very different policy. Notable is the way that the concept “energy” is linked to so many other concepts that in turn connect many different parts of the economy and the overall energy equation, largely focusing on investment in new technologies. Obama had a role for industry that included an investment in capital, technology and jobs.

The same concept map zoomed in to take a closer look at the “energy” theme, which speaks to how thought out the energy plan is.

We’ve heard a lot of discussion in the media, on blogs and from political analysts about what each candidate will do, and a vocal minority screaming that their policies are exactly the same. The Customer Insight Portal cut through the clutter, hype and noise to deliver real insight.


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