"Change" has been used a total of 402 times by the politicians and political influencers that NPR is tracking.

Why We're Tracking This: In 2008, "change" (together with "hope") was all the rage thanks to the Obama campaign. Will Democrats use the word this year? Republicans will likely bring it up.

Compare Usage of "change" By...

days ago

Popular Overall With...

Sharron Angle (R)


  • Last 7 days: 8 uses (up 800% over last week)
  • Overall: 10 uses since Aug. 30

Joe Sestak (D)


  • Last 7 days: 4 uses (up 400% over last week)
  • Overall: 21 uses since Aug. 30



  • Last 7 days: 22 uses (up 38% over last week)
  • Overall: 144 uses since Aug. 30



  • Last 7 days: 33 uses (up 38% over last week)
  • Overall: 178 uses since Aug. 30

'Sparkline' graphs plot each word's motion over the last 8 weeks.

Word To Watch: October 11, 2010


'Change' Is Still Hot, Will The 'Pledge' Ever Be?

October 11, 2010 Anybody who was near a TV or radio in 2008 knows that "change" (often heard right after "hope and") was one of the hot words during that year's presidential campaign.

And it's still going strong in 2010 -- though not for the same reasons. While "change" was one of then-candidate Barack Obama's keywords two years ago, now it's just as likely to be used by a Republican (or a Republican-turned-independent like Fla. Gov. Charlie Crist, who's running for the Senate). And often, as with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, there can be a bit of sarcasm layered in.

But what about the "Pledge to America" unveiled by House Republicans last month? It's their version of 1994's GOP "Contract with America." Has it taken off as a campaign trail hot topic?

Not according to the Fighting Words database. Since the Pledge's introduction in late September, it comes up just once in our "hits." Apparently, as The Washington Post wrote last week, "relatively few Republican candidates nationwide appear to be adopting it as a guiding vision, much less incorporating it into their campaigns."

There are a few weeks left for the GOP to talk it up -- and for Democrats to talk it down. But so far, at least, the Pledge just doesn't seem to be taking.

-- Mark Memmott

People Who Use This Word Often


Charlie Crist (I)

  • Week of Oct. 11:
    uses of "change"
...St. Petersburg Times Endorses Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate - ST. PETERSBURG TIMES Frustrated voters want change in Washington and an end to gridlock in Congress. But to break through the status quo, we must dare...

— via RSS (October 10)


Kendrick Meek (D)

  • Week of Oct. 11:
    uses of "change"
...If someone wants to change social security, they'll have to go through me, a 6'3" former State Trooper.

— via Twitter (October 10)

Recent uses of "change"

...Good job @LindenZakula - He helped a woman change her flat tire this AM so she could go vote! #MoSen...

Robin Carnahan, via Twitter (November 2)

...President Obama’s Election Day Message - President Obama: “You can prove one more time that change comes from the bottom up—from people standing together and working together and making their voices heard.” Please vote....

Tim Kaine (DNC), via Facebook (November 2)

...President Obama: “You can prove one more time that change comes from the bottom up." Please vote today.

Tim Kaine (DNC), via Twitter (November 2)

...After you vote for Michele tomorrow, change your profile picture to show your support!...

Michele Bachmann, via Facebook (November 2)

...and foremost in my prayers.I am not a democrat, however I do feel that there is a need for change in Austin for Texas...I appreciate how you approached serving Houston from a business perspective & not a political one..."...

Bill White, via RSS (November 1)

...President Obama: “We Can’t Let Up” - You’ve proved that you could bring about change before. Now let’s go out there and prove it once again. We’ve just got a couple of days left....

Organizing for America (Obama/Biden), via Facebook (November 1)

About This Project

NPR is following key politicians on Facebook, Twitter and their websites to see what terms are gaining or losing traction on the campaign trail.

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