What Americans said they'd heard about the candidates may hold the key to Donald Trump's big upset

Trump’s branding acumen may have been crucial to his upset victory on Tuesday.

From July to September, Gallup asked Americans what they had heard, read, or seen about presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

A few obvious trends emerged in the word clouds published by Gallup in September and formed from 30,000 interview.

Americans interviewed by Gallup associated Trump most with the words “speech,” “president,” and “immigration.” Meanwhile, the most dominant word associated with Clinton was “emails,” “lie,” and “scandal,” suggesting voters had heard the most about the FBI investigation into her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

It’s worth noting the FBI cleared Clinton in July, and the lewd 2005 tape of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women hadn’t surfaced yet, so the word clouds may have been different closer to Election Day. But exit polls suggest that three-quarters of voters had decided which presidential candidate they were going to vote for before September.

The results offer an intriguing possible explanation for Trump’s stunning upset. Here they are:

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