CNN: Palin Spoke at a 10th Grade Level, Biden at Junior High LevelOctober 4, 2008
CNN’s own article:
Thursday night’s debate between the vice presidential candidates “was more collegial, thinking out loud as opposed to just hammering points,” Payack said in trying to explain the difference. “It was a much calmer style.”
His analysis ranked the candidates’ speech on several other levels, too. Here’s the breakdown:
Sentences per paragraph: statistically tied at 2.7 for Biden and 2.6 for Palin.
Letters per word: tied at 4.4.
Ease of reading: Biden, 66.7 (with 100 being the easiest to read or hear), versus 62.4 for Palin.
The analysis said Abraham Lincoln spoke at an 11th-grade level during his seven debates in 1858 against incumbent Stephen A. Douglas in their race for a Senate seat from Illinois.
But higher grade level doesn’t necessarily mean better sentence, Payack said. He pointed to Palin’s second-to-last sentence in the debate, which the formula put at a grade level of 18.3:
There is someone in America counting the words in a ninety minute debate. I hope tax payer dollars aren’t funding this