Would you make a bar chart where the length of the bar doesn’t actually scale with the number being shown? Would you draw a line chart with the lines all over the place, not where the values actually are? Of course not. Yet somehow, every single election map works like that. [Read more…] about All Those Misleading Election Maps
As we’re heading towards elections again, there is a chart type that is as unavoidable as political ads, baby-kissing, and smear campaigns: line charts showing polling data. The most common pitch two candidates against each other, and often make a big deal out of the fact that the lines cross. Not only are these charts misleading in the way they depict the choice, they also hide an important fact: the number of undecided voters. [Read more…] about Embracing Uncertainty in Two-Line Charts
I always wondered how much those swing states actually swing. So I looked at the results of presidential elections over the last 100 years, and it’s not easy to determine which states actually are swing states from just looking at their history. Rather, there seems to be a pattern of relative stability for a few election cycles, and then big, sweeping wins for one side.
[Read more…] about Swing States
A story is making the rounds recently that the Obama campaign has received many contributions with “odd” amounts (i.e., not whole dollars), which is supposedly proof that Obama was being funded by foreign money. Here is a quick look at the data, which shows some interesting patterns, but no evidence of foreign intervention.
[Read more…] about Debunking the Cent Smear
The New York Times has an interesting interactive visualization on the influence of presidents on the economy. They ask, Can a President Tame the Business Cycle? The visualization they use is not bad, but would be much more readable if it used a better color scale.
[Read more…] about NY Times looks at Presidents and the Economy
A few days ago, I looked at how the electoral college system amplifies the lead of the strongest candidate in a US presidential election. The way I made the chart (with the help of PhotoShop) created some interesting reactions, and finally led me to what I consider the best way to do it (using stacked bar charts). I also want to respond to a few comments about the kind of chart used and why I think it is the most effective way to show what it does.
[Read more…] about Popular vs. Electoral Votes Using Stacked Bar Charts
The Electoral College is a key aspect of the US presidential elections. Its mechanics and distribution of electors are crucial for presidential campaigns and determine the so-called battleground states – and possibly also distort the will of the people. I was interested this last effect, so I did a little analysis.
[Read more…] about The Electoral College and Second Terms
With Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama being likely Democratic candidates for the 2008 presidential elections, it is time to look at the demographics of US Presidents over the years. The following diagrams compare their sex, race, and faith with the whole population in 2001.
[Read more…] about Presidential Demographics