Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences

Date of Last Revision

2024-01-17 10:15:49


Political Science

Honors Course

Honors Research Project: Political Science

Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Fall 2023


In this study, five speeches by Donald Trump and six by Joe Biden were comprehensively analyzed for their symbolic politics on immigration and social issues. The data revealed a consistent trend, with Trump featuring a greater number of mentions in comparison to Biden—66 and 26, respectively. Furthermore, Trump's symbolic politics exhibited a predominantly negative tone, while Biden's approach was predominantly positive. The results of this analysis confirm my hypotheses, highlighting notable disparities in the rhetoric employed by each candidate. Trump amplified a negative outlook on social issues and immigration, whereas Biden strategically mentioned and positively framed these issues. This research provides valuable insights into the utilization of symbolic politics by each speaker.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Phillip Marcin

First Reader

Dr. Karl Kaltenthaler

Second Reader

Dr. Charles Waehler

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Ronald Gelleny

Proprietary and/or Confidential Information




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