Politics

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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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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.

What Car Brands Tell Us About Our Political Participation

Interesting

When it comes to cars, the results are often predictable. It probably won’t surprise anyone to learn that the data, as collected by Scarborough Research, show that drivers of hybrid automobiles tend to skew Democrat and are highly likely to vote. Subaru owners, as well. Saab and Volvo owners also lean left and vote in large percentages, though not by as wide a margin.

How ‘State of the Union’ Speeches Changed Over Time

Tonight President Obama gives his third “State of the Union” speech, an address that dates back to George Washington. Over time, the length and format of the speech has changed, according to the The American Presidency Project

Bubbles in this view are sized the represent the number of speeches given by each president, with colors representing format (purple = oral; green = written).

This shows the total number of words used during each president’s tenure in both formats. Teddy Roosevelt needed 174,000 to deliver his thoughts, leading all presidents. 

A better view is to look at the average number of words used, given that presidents have had varying term lengths over time. Jimmy Carter led all presidents, with an average of 33,000 words, though that’s skewed by one long written address as he left office.

Bill Clinton had the longest average oral speeches since 1966, at 1 hour and 14 minutes. Richard Nixon gave the shortest speeches, averaging about 35 minutes. 

View interactive version | Download data

Ahead of Vote, Mapping Taiwan’s Presidential Election in 2008

While we watch the GOP candidates vie for their party’s nomination, the Taiwanese (including some of my wife’s family) are voting in presidential elections of their own — a race that could affect the U.S. relationship with the island nation and China: 

Taiwanese voted on Saturday for their next president and parliament, an election being closely monitored by China and the United States as they look for stability in the region at a time of political transition for both superpowers.

The votes will be tallied overnight, but I mapped the regional divide from the last election, in 2008, which propelled nationalist Ma Ying-jeou to power. His Kuomintang party has pushed for warmer relations with China. Four years ago, he defeated Frank Hsieh, of the Democratic Progressive Party, which favors independence from China and a distinct identity from the Middle Kingdom. 

This map shows administrative areas won by both candidates. Ma’s party is stronger in the north, where business groups in large population centers like the capitol of Taipei generally prefer better relations with China: 

This map shows the intensity of Ma’s support in 2008. Again, the regional divide is evident (he won with 58 percent of the vote, so the maps have different totals): 

And here’s Hsieh’s vote: 

We’ll see what happens in the morning in the contest between Ma and pro-independence DPP candidate Tsai Ing-wen. Though Ma won easily four years ago, this year’s contest is too close to call. This time, a third-party candidate, James Soong, is in the race. He threatens to pull votes away from Ma’s party, as he did in 2000.

More maps tomorrow…

2008 Iowa Caucus Results

These maps, created by The New York Times four years ago to visualize the Republican results, might be interesting for reference as the returns come in tonight.

Mitt Romney, who lost to Mike Huckabee in 2008, carried the eastern and western portions of the state. Will he tonight? Huckabee carried the middle of the state, including Des Moines. Who will take them tonight? Paul won just one county. Will he improve on that total?

This map displays the raw vote total by county. Larger bubbles represent higher margins of victory. Huckabee won Polk County, which contains Des Moines, by 2,700 votes — one quarter of his victory margin. Who will win it tonight?

View the interactive maps (which also include the Democratic caucuses).

Charting Obama’s Path

While in Europe I missed this excellent interactive graphic by Alicia Parlapiano and Amanda Cox of The New York Times. It plots 2008 presidential election results by state with adult residents’ higher education rates: 

Some Democrats believe Ohio may no longer be crucial to a 2012 election victory. Instead, states like Colorado and Virginia, with more highly educated voters, may be the Democrats’ must-win states.

I found the graphic, btw, while reading a post by Matthew Ericson — who works with Parlapiano and Cox — in which he argues that maps aren’t always the most effective method for displaying geographic information.