Breaking Down Governors' 2012 State of the State Addresses

Governors' recent State of the State addresses provide clues to their priorities. We've compiled speeches and word clouds for each speech.
by | February 28, 2012 AT 6:40 PM

Governors often begin each year with State of the State addresses outlining their agenda and emphasizing a state's most urgent priorities.

Many speeches serve as a mere formality as governors reiterate previously-stated goals. But in some cases, governors use the opportunity to announce major policy initiatives.

Governing compiled transcripts of each State of the State address delivered this year. In all, 43 governors spoke in January and February.

Several common themes emerged among the speeches. Not surprisingly, jobs and education appear to be top issues for most states.

Here's a word cloud of all the speeches:

After combining all the speeches and excluding common words, a few of the most frequently-used words (full and partial matches) were:

  • Tax: 582 mentions
  • Jobs: 563 mentions
  • Business: 516 mentions
  • School: 515 mentions
  • Economy/Economic: 464 mentions
  • Education: 460 mentions
  • Child/Children: 446 mentions
  • Government: 411 mentions
  • Budget: 376 mentions
  • Student: 307 mentions
  • Teacher: 302 mentions
  • Health: 293 mentions

It should be noted that this is, by no means, a scientific analysis. "State," "year" and other common words were filtered from the speeches.

View the full text and a word cloud for each speech from the table below:

State Governor Date Speech
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley 2/7/2012 Read speech
Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell 1/18/2012 Read speech
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer 1/9/2012 Read speech
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe No Speech  
California Gov. Jerry Brown 1/18/2012 Read speech
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper 1/12/2012 Read speech
Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy 2/8/2012 Read speech
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell 1/19/2012 Read speech
Florida Gov. Rick Scott 1/10/2012 Read speech
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal 1/10/2012 Read speech
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie 1/23/2012 Read speech
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter 1/9/2012 Read speech
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn 2/1/2012 Read speech
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels 1/10/2012 Read speech
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad 1/10/2012 Read speech
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback 1/11/2012 Read speech
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear 1/4/2012 Read speech
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal No speech  
Maine Gov. Paul LePage 1/24/2012 Read speech
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley 2/1/2012 Read speech
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick 1/23/2012 Read speech
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder 1/18/2012 Read speech
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton 2/15/2012 Read speech
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant 1/24/2012 Read speech
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon 1/17/2012 Read speech
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer No Speech  
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman 1/12/2012 Read speech
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval No Speech  
New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch 1/31/2012 Read speech
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 1/17/2012 Read speech
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez 1/17/2012 Read speech
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo 1/4/2012 Read speech
North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue No Speech  
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple No Speech  
Ohio Gov. John Kasich 2/7/2012 Read speech
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin 2/6/2012 Read speech
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber 1/13/2012 Read speech
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett 2/7/2012 Read speech
Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee 1/31/2012 Read speech
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley 1/18/2012 Read speech
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard 1/10/2012 Read speech
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam 1/30/2012 Read speech
Texas Gov. Rick Perry No Speech  
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert 1/25/2012 Read speech
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin 1/5/2012 Read speech
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell 1/11/2012 Read speech
Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire 1/10/2012 Read speech
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin 1/11/2012 Read speech
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker 1/25/2012 Read speech
Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead 2/13/2011 Read speech