The present study aims to measure the level of populism of the main Italian political leaders during the 2018 national electoral campaign, and, consequently, to evaluate which leaders can be considered to be the most populist. Our units of analysis are television interviews of six Italian political leaders: we examined them through the pedagogical assessment technique of holistic grading, applied to the study of populist discourses, following Kirk Hawkins’ approach. This study aims to answer three main research questions: can the holistic grading technique be applied not only to written texts, but also to “oral texts”, such as television interviews? Who are the most populist Italian leaders? Which kind of populism is expressed by those who proved to be the most populist leaders? The analysis is focused on twenty-four interviews conducted in four television programmes with the leaders of the six main Italian political parties: Salvini (League), Di Maio (Five Star Movement), Berlusconi (Go Italy), Renzi (Democratic Party), Meloni (Brothers of Italy), and Grasso (Free and Equals).
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