Politics

25 posts
A second take on the rural-urban election chart

Yesterday, I looked at the following pictograms used by Business Insider in an article about the rural-urban divide in American politics: The layout of this diagram suggests that the comparison of 2010 to 2018 is a key purpose. The following alternate directly plots the change between 2010 and 2018, reducing the number of plots from 4 to 2. The 2018 results are emphasized. Then, for each party, there can be...

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Another experiment with enhanced pictogram

In a previous post, I experimented with an idea around enhancing pictograms. These are extremely popular charts used to show countable objects. I found another example in Business Insider's analysis of the mid-term election results. Here is an excerpt of a pair of pictograms that show the relative performance of Republicans and Democrats in districts that are classified as "Pure Rural" or "Rural-Suburban": (Note that there is an error in...

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Checking the scale on a chart

Dot maps, and by extension, bubble maps are popular options for spatial data; but the scale of these maps can be deceiving. Here is an example of a poorly-scaled dot map: The U.S. was primarily an agrarian economy in 1997, if you believe your eyes. Here is a poorly-scaled bubble map: New Yorkers have all become Citibikers, if you believe what you see. Last week, I saw a nice dot...

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Charting the GOP’s Congressional Exodus

Another Republican in the U.S. House — Speaker Paul Ryan, no less — announced his intention not to seek re-election in 2018, adding to the number of members leaving ahead of what’s expected to be an unfavorable mid-term environment for the party. Even before Ryan’s announcement, HuffPost reported that the number of GOP congressmen leaving the chamber, either for retirement or other offices, has hit numbers not seen in decades. His exit...

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Graphical evidence that Bernie got shafted

Note that I am placing this post under Light Entertainment.   

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Please help the Delaware Dept of Education

Shane C. asked me to fill out a survey hosted by the Delaware Department of Education. This is a survey about designing their dashboard. And I'm very happy to see that they are doing this. In the survey, you are asked to comment on different ways of presenting certain data, and they want to know which version is "easier to understand". It takes about 5-10 minutes to complete it. The...

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Governor of Maine wants a raise

In a Trifecta checkup, this map scores low on the Q corner: what is its purpose? What have readers learned about the salaries of state governors after looking at the map? (Link to original) The most obvious "insights" include: There are more Republican governors than Democratic governors Most Democratic governors are from the coastal states There is exactly one Independent governor Small states on the Eastern seaboard is messing up...

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When your main attraction is noise

Peter K. asked me about this 538 chart, which is a stacked column chart in which the percentages appear to not add up to 100%. Link to the article here. Here's my reply: They made the columns so tall that the "rounding errors" (noise) disclosed in the footnotes became the main attraction. *** The gap between the highest and lowest peaks looks large but mostly due to the aspect ratio....

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Three pies and a bar: serving visual goodness

If you are not sick of the Washington Post article about friends (not) letting friends join the other party, allow me to write yet another post on, gasp, that pie chart. And sorry to have kept reader Daniel L. waiting, as he pointed out, when submitting this chart to me, that he had tremendous difficulty understanding it:   This is not one pie but six pies on a platter. There...

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Lop-sided precincts, a visual exploration

In the last post, I discussed one of the charts in the very nice Washington Post feature, delving into polarizing American voters. See the post here. (Thanks again Daniel L.) Today's post is inspired by the following chart (I am  showing only the top of it - click here to see the entire chart): The chart plots each state as a separate row, so like most such charts, it is...

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