V ia the Fargo Forum, Bluestem learns that Minnesota's congressional delegation is above average.
Well, sort of.
Kristen Daum writes in North Dakota, Minnesota delegations use simple speech, study shows:
A recent study from the nonpartisan Sunshine Foundation says North Dakota’s and Minnesota’s delegations speak using lower grade-level vocabulary than most other members of Congress but still above the national average.
Sunlight Foundation researchers analyzed words in the Congressional Record and used a formula looking at complex speech patterns – such as larger words and longer sentences – to derive a grade level for each member of Congress.
Out of Minnesota and North Dakota, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., had the highest score for speeches given during the current session of Congress.
Despite speaking at an 11th-grade level, though, Klobuchar still fell in the bottom half of Congress as a whole.
And then there's Collin Peterson's peculiar performance this year:
Of the states’ delegations, Minnesota Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson had the lowest-speaking grade level for this session of Congress: seventh grade.
However, that number is deceptive when considering his 23-year stint in Congress, the study indicates.
Over Peterson’s career, the Sunlight Foundation found he averages speaking at a 10th-grade level.
No other Minnesota or North Dakota member had significantly different grades for this session compared with their full careers.
Perhaps the conservative Peterson was just now catching up with the rest of Congress. Daum reports that the study found that the speech of Washington elected had been growing more simple over the past seven years.
Read the full report here. The database of members' speech is searchable here. Walz's career is marked by 10th grade speech, down to a 9th grade level in the current session. Kline is a junior-level speaker over his career, but down to a 10th grade level this session.
Bachmann, who was running for President, graduated from a 9th-grade level to a sophomore-level speech.
Stephen Colbert's analysis bears watching:
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