Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Trump's win and misleading maps

One of the interesting features of the 2016 US presidential elections is that Trump won most of the counties (2,649 to 503 according to Time), but Clinton won the most votes (by around 3 million). When you see a map showing the counties Trump won, you see a sea of red. According to an article from Chris Wilson of Time, cited below, if you add up the size of the counties, Trump won something like 75.6% of the US's land mass, excluding water. Reportedly Trump loves this map because it seems to show his "yuge" victory.  The thing is, most of these counties have small populations. This tends to be because they're predominately rural. On the other hand Clinton won most of the urban counties with large populations. So the map is in many ways misleading.

In Here's the Election Map President Trump Should Hang in the West Wing Chris Wilson provides us with an alternate map.
A simpler way is just to place a dot over each county that is proportional in area to the number of votes that the winner received, like so:
Here's a screen shot of the map:

Note, please visit the above site to see the full interactive map. It allows you to move the mouse over a dot to see the tally. Have a read of Wilson's article while you're there. He explains things much better than I do.

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