Obama

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Mapping 2012 Presidential Results in Majority Minority Counties

Yesterday I mapped the more than 350 “majority minority” counties in the United States, breaking them down by race and ethnicity groups and geography. As promised, today I’ve looked at how these counties (in the contiguous United States) voted in the 2012 election.

Obama won about 70 percent of these counties. Here’s the map:

The Daily Viz

The Daily Viz

That map, of course, can be misleading — as often happens in elections. That because the area of the counties can distort their actual voting power. In this case, Obama won more “majority minority” counties with urban populations and many more voters, such as Los Angeles (Calif.), Cook (Ill.) and Kings (N.Y.) counties, among others. Romney carried rural Republican counties, largely in Texas and the west.

Obama received nearly 18 million votes in the “majority minority” counties he carried. Romney got 2 million votes in his “majority minority” counties. In the end, Obama received a net 10 million votes from “minority majority” counties — nearly double his national margin over Romney in the country as a whole.

The map below uses proportional circles on top of the choropleth map above to help visualize the total votes in each county. You can see how Obama won in many of the most-populous counties, increasing his national margin (though not necessarily helping with the Electoral College — except in critical purple states he carried, such as Florida and Virginia).

The Daily Viz

The Daily Viz

You can download the data here.

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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.

Obama Approval Rating Charts Updated

A few months ago I posted a dashboard of 21 interactive charts comparing President Obama’s approval rating among different groups (men vs. women, Democrats vs. Republicans, rich vs. poor, etc.). I’ve updated the charts with the most recent Gallup data:

See the charts, and download the data.

The Health Care Ruling as a ‘Word Tree’

As everyone knows by now, the U.S. Supreme Court today essentially upheld the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. I created a word tree to find specific words in the document and see how they fit in context with those around them. Here are phrases that begin with “federal power”:

Here are phrases that end with “federal power”:

Phrases that begin with “cost”:

And, finally, “tax”:

The tool allows you to select words and change the view by drilling down:

Check out the interactive version, and try out your own phrases.

Comparing President Obama’s Job Approval Rates Among Different American Groups

President Obama’s approval rating has crept just above 50 percent, his best position in a year, the latest Gallup survey figures show. The Washington Examiner adds some historical context:

Obama’s numbers peaked at 53 percent in the last week of May [2011], but then dipped below 50 percent in June [2011]. His approval ratings sank to a low of 38 percent in October 2011, before returning to 50 percent in mid-April 2011.

Click on the image to interact with the charts.

Using Gallup’s weekly trends data — which can be sliced into groups based on religion, gender and party identification, among other categories — I created numerous interactive charts to show the trends since his presidency began in January 2009.

The charts reveal some interesting, though perhaps not unexpected, trends. First, of course, there’s a clear partisan divide: 83 percent of Democrats approve of the president’s performance while just 13 percent of Republicans approve, according to the most recent weekly trends data provided by Gallup (through April 29).

But other differences are evident.  Only 40 percent of people who told Gallup that they attend church weekly approve. Compare that with 54 percent approval among people who rarely go to church. Older and wealthier people also approve at lower rates.

I’ve broken the numbers out into 21 different area charts. Explore them here.

A warning: The page is a bit sluggish in Internet Explorer. I haven’t had time to fix that. So, click here to get a proper browser.

UPDATE: I added fresh data on May 27, so the graphics are current. Check them out.

Candidate Fundraising vs. Super PAC Spending in January

From Huffington Post

Reports about January’s fundraising numbers, released on February 20, have focused on two narratives: Mitt Romney’s limited fundraising and high burn rate and the role that super PACs are playing in an increasingly contested Republican primary. HuffPost decided to combine those narratives together to make a graphic of candidate and super PAC fundraising and spending in January.

Did Obama Neglect Health Care in State of the Union Speech?

More analysis from the speech from The Advisory Board Company: 

Obama’s speech included just 44 words on health reform, far fewer than in his previous addresses. He said that the makeup of the overhaul—which he noted relies on a “reformed private market, not a government program”—is a sign that he is willing to work with Republicans.

Obama’s State of the Union

The Washington Post does a nice job comparing this year’s State of the Union to President Obama’s previous annual speeches: 

President Obama devoted nearly half of his fourth annual address to Congress to the economy. A breakdown of the State of the Union and a look back at his previous three speeches.