Metro

Evan Horowitz

Can you judge a candidate by his or her words?

Want to know where the candidates stand? Here’s one approach: Listen to what they say. Whether in debates, stump speeches, or in campaign material, politicians tend to focus on the issues they care about most.

Before the primaries, we looked at what the major-party candidates were saying. Now, with the general election just days away, we can revisit those answers, and include the independents as well. See if you can match each candidate for governor with the word that appears most frequently on their campaign website (hint: The candidates’ words have changed since last time).

Can you match each candidate with the word they use most frequently in the "issues" section of their campaign website?

Democrats

Charlie Baker

Evan Falchuk

Jeff McCormick

Republicans

Martha Coakley

Scott Lively

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The tag clouds below include the 25 most commonly used words in each candidate’s “issues” materials. The more common a word is, the larger it appears.

Charlie Baker

Most frequently used word: Government

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Notable patterns: Baker’s chief emphasis is on reforming government, as when he describes plans to “fix state government” and “increase ethical standards for state government.”

Before the primary: “Families” was the most common word in Baker’s pre-primary materials. It remains a close second.

Martha Coakley

Most frequently used word: Help

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Notable patterns: No other candidate talks as consistently about the importance of helping, whether it’s helping children, helping veterans, or helping Massachusetts companies.

Before the primary: “Help” has leaped passed “workers,” which was Coakley’s most frequently used word during the primaries.

Evan Falchuk

Most frequently used word: People

Notable patterns: Falchuk also speaks a good deal about “costs,” including the cost of health care, housing, and student loans.

Scott Lively

Most frequently used word: Law

Notable patterns: Lively is the only candidate who regularly uses the word “God” in his campaign materials.

Jeff McCormick

Most frequently used word: Education

Notable patterns: Among other things, McCormick calls for universal pre-K, lifting the cap on charter schools, and increased state funding for K-12.

These word clouds were generated at TagCrowd.com. They exclude common words like “it” and “the” along with “Massachusetts,” “Commonwealth,” and “state.”

Evan Horowitz digs through data to find information that illuminates the policy issues facing Massachusetts and the United States. He can be reached at evan.horowitz@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHorowitz
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