Bernie versus Hillary and the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party: a frame analysis of campaign speeches in the 2016 Democratic primary

This research project offers a frame analysis of the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primaries using a content analysis of speeches delivered by Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders during their respective campaign. The 2016 election can be characterized as an intra-party insurgency campaign pitting democratic socialism against the neoliberal establishment. This research situates the 2016 Democratic primary in the context of severe economic recessions that have called into question the legitimacy of neoliberal orthodoxy. This has opened the space for a challenge to neoliberalism within the Democratic Party. The results reveal that education, health care, and Wall Street reform were salient issues discussed by the candidates using diagnostic and prognostic frames.

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