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Mapping Obama’s Election Performance By County In 2012 Vs. 2008

The Washington Post over the weekend published an interesting story about President Obama’s southern support in the election:

The nation’s first black president finished more strongly in the region than any other Democratic nominee in three decades, underscoring a fresh challenge for Republicans who rely on Southern whites as their base of national support.

This map compares Obama’s performance in 2008 to this year’s election in the lower 48 states. Darker blue shades represent higher percentage point increases, and darker red shades represent decreases in percentage points. It’s clear he performed better this time in parts of the Deep South:

The Daily Viz

But why? One likely explanation for Obama’s stronger showing in the parts of the South could be that those counties have a high proportion of black voters, and Obama turned them out. According to the Post, “black voters came out in droves on Election Day and voted overwhelmingly for Obama — near or above 95 percent in most parts of the South.” Here’s a map of the black population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. See a correlation?

U.S. Census Bureau

Notice too that Obama did worse in Coal Country than he did four years ago, perhaps because the region has higher unemployment rates than the national average, or because the Romney campaign wooed voters in this region, especially in Virginia. Here’s a map of coal production, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. This is less clear, in part because the map shows all coal-producing counties, not just those in which it’s a key part of the economy now (the red and pink areas in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia):

USGS

And, finally, it’s no surprise that Romney did better than McCain in 2008 in Utah. Romney, of course, is a Mormon and he led the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. But if you want to compare it with the election results, here’s a map of the Mormon population, again from the U.S. Census Bureau:

U.S. Census Bureau

I’m generally not a huge fan of county-by-county election maps because counties as a unit of geography are largely meaningless in national elections. But in this case maybe it’s useful. Meanwhile, check out the Post’s nice map gallery of the 2012 electorate.

Mapping Internet Access In U.S. Homes

About three quarters of Americans have access to the Internet at home, according to a new survey released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau.

New Hampshire, Washington and Utah top the list, with more than 82 percent of their residents having Internet access. New Mexico, Mississippi and Arkansas are at the bottom, with about 64 percent of residents able to get online at home. Here’s a state-by-state map:

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, October 2010.

Mapping Asian Population Density With Census Data

Asians were the fastest-growing racial group in the United States from 2000-2010, growing by nearly 30 percent in most states, according to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau released today: 

The population that identified as Asian, either alone or in combination with one or more other races, grew by 45.6 percent from 2000 to 2010, while those who identified as Asian alone grew by 43.3 percent. Both populations grew at a faster rate than the total U.S. population, which increased by 9.7 percent from 2000 to 2010.

This map, made with ArcGIS, visualizes that population with a dot density map. Each dot represents 3,000 residents per county: 

Mapping Violent Crime, Murder Rates with FBI Data

The FBI today released its mid-year crime figures from large cities around the county, and the data are positive, NPR reports: 

The number of violent crimes reported by 12,500 U.S. law enforcement agencies fell 6.4 percent in the first half of this year compared to the same time in 2010, the FBI reports.

Using the federal data, which covers Jan. to June of this year, I plotted the figures on maps using proportional symbols. This first map shows the violent crime rate (bubble size increases with higher rates) by city.

While large cities like New York, Houston and Los Angeles have more violent crimes, visualizing the rate shows us cities in which residents are more likely to be victims. The rate in St. Louis, Mo., tops all cities with more than 100,000 residents. (The top 10 are labeled on the map). 

The second map plots the murder rate, with New Orleans leading all U.S. cities with more than 100,000 residents. (The top 10 are labeled on the map). 

Larger versions: Violent crime | Murder

A ‘Radical’ View of DC’s Demographics

I’ve been obsessed with William Rankin’s ‘radical cartography’ site for more than a year. One map in particular — a detailed view of Washington, D.C.’s segregated neighborhoods — has stuck with me more than others over time.  

The map used 2000 Census data to show how black residents are clustered in northeast and southeast neighborhoods, while white residents live in the northwest. He also mapped poverty, income, crime and education — creating a stunning series of images about inequality in the city.

I don’t have Rankin’s cartography skills, but I’ve tried my best to update his race map, using similar colors and features, with the 2010 Census data. First, this map shows concentrations of black residents, who made up roughly half the city’s population in 2010, down 10 percentage points from the previous decade: 

This map shows where Hispanic residents are clustered: 

Here’s another version with all major race/ethnicity groups. The dots represent 25 residents per U.S. Census block: 

All the data used to make the maps can be download here

Mapping Where GOP Candidates Raise Their Campaign Donations

Federal Election Commission records show Republican presidential candidates have raised about $90 million through the third quarter of this year — but where is the money coming from?

These maps visualize the geographic source of candidates’ campaign cash by plotting symbols that represent the number of donors in each zip code. With all eight major candidates, the map naturally shows fundraising clusters that reflect urban population centers. But the colors also begin to highlight regional fundraising differences among the candidates. 

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has raised the most ($30 million) since January, followed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry ($17.2 million) since his late entry into the race this summer. (Click each image to view it larger.)

Romney, a Mormon who managed the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, raised about $2 million from Utah. He also raised $1 million from Michigan, where his father, George, served as governor. But he collected donations from all over: 

Perry, who’s obviously had less time in the race, tapped his fundraising base in Texas. More than half his money came from the Lone Star State: 

Texas Rep. Ron Paul enjoys broad geographic fundraising ability. He’s raised about $9 million from every state, Puerto Rico and Guam: 

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum draws his money from the Keystone State. A third of his donations came from the Keystone State: 

Former Utah Gov. and Ambassador Jon Huntsman also enjoyed a relatively strong base in his home state: 

Newt Gingrich, a former congressman from Georgia, received about one in five of his dollars from that state, with the most coming from the Atlanta region. He also raised about $200,000 from neighboring Florida:

Former Godfather’s Pizza executive Herman Cain, who lives in the Atlanta suburbs, also has a Georgia fundraising base: 

And, finally, U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann, who represents a Minnesota district, saw a cluster of donations from the Twin Cities region: 

Inspired by Development Seed | Download data

UPDATE: Added a map for President Obama, who’s raised about $86 million this year. This map uses a different method than above. Instead of created symbols sized by the number of donors in a zip code, it creates a tiny dot for each $2,500 collected in a zip code. (So don’t compare it to the GOP maps, which I plan to update soon): 

Mapping Political Power in The Netherlands

I spent the last few days in The Hague, the seat of Dutch government. One of the highlights was a visit to the country’s lower house in Parliament, called the Tweede Kamer Der Staten General

The 150-member body is a coalition of 10 political parties, with the conservative-liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, known as the VVD, barely holding the most seats. Labor is just behind. I wondered whether these party divides would be evident in geography, as they often are in the United States.

Trying to map the 2010 election, however, was a challenge, given the language barrier — both in understanding data fields and in navigating Dutch web sites for mapping data. Eventually, though, I found the shapefiles and election results data I needed.

(Thanks, Ron de Jong).  

First, here’s a look at overall population in Holland. Many of the residents are packed into large cities, especially Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Eindhoven. Higher concentrations of votes in these municipalities, of course, helps deliver more support in the overall election.

(BTW: Click on any of the maps to see high-resolution versions): 

The VVD party enjoyed support across the country, winning 31 sears, but it didn’t see its highest rates in Amsterdam and Rotterdam: 

The labor party, known as PvdA, finished second in the election, and now controls 30 seats in the house. It’s support is strongest in the northeast and in the largest vote-rich cities, Amsterdam and Rotterdam: 

The Party for Freedom, or PVV, is a right-wing party that fights against Islamic immigration. It controls 24 seats in the house, with a base in the far south. One local expert I talked to suggest that residents there may be less educated and/or more adversely affected by globalization, causing the strong feelings about immigration. Also, the party’s leader, Geert Wilders, was born there. 

Another center-right party, the Christian Democratic Appeal, controls 21 seats. It too enjoys support around the country, but it’s particularly strong in the east: 

The socialist party controls 15 seats. Its strength is concentrated largely in the southeast, perhaps because the leader, Emile Roemer, has a connection to the region. The municipality of Boxmeer, where Roemer began his political career in the 1990s, is the darkest place on this map (34% of the vote) along the German border: 

Mapping ONA Attendees

More than 1,000 people were on the attendee list for last weekend’s Online News Association convention in Boston, according to a list the organizers graciously released. 

The data weren’t perfect. Only about 3 in 4 attendees listed their home cities. Of them, about 650 were from the United States. 

As you can see in this map, the Northeast drew a heavy contingent, with Washington, D.C., New York City, and Boston leading the list. Wide swaths of the country, however, weren’t represented: 

See larger map | Download data

UPDATE (9/27): See a different (and perhaps more interesting) version

Mapping American Poverty

A national map prompted by today’s news about Americans in poverty: 

WASHINGTON — The portion of Americans living in poverty last year rose to the highest level since 1993, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday, fresh evidence that the sluggish economic recovery has done nothing for the country’s poorest citizens. 

View larger version

Source: American Community Survey | Previously: Children in Poverty

Union Membership by State

In the early 1970s, one in four American workers belong to a labor union. Last year, they represented about 12 percent of the workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

This map shows membership by state, with darker shades representing higher proportions of the workforce in unions. North Carolina has the lowest percentage of union workers: 3.2 percent. New York has the highest: 24.2 percent. 

See larger version

This map has the same data, but in an interactive format: 

See larger version

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Download data