The Massachusetts Special Election

As I have been blogging the past several days, today the Supreme Court will announce its rulings on the two gay marriage cases. But, I have already looked at that twice now. Today I want to look at the results of the Massachusetts special election for the US Senate, necessitated by John Kerry resigning from the seat to become Secretary of State.

This work comes from the Huffington Post. It offers the usual map fare with towns coloured by the victor and tinted by the share of the vote. Though do note the interesting—is this novel?—means of filling in the town with colour to represent the percent of the town reporting. My screenshot is a bit late, but check out Warren near Springfield or Boston and Cambridge—a bit harder to see because of their size and shape.

Looking across the state for the results
Looking across the state for the results

However, the fascinating thing is the use of the small multiples of scatter plots to look at historic elections. The designers included a small key in the upper-right explaining that dots above the line represent towns where Ed Markey, the Democrat who won, outperformed the historic Democrat. I have not seen anybody attempt to portray the data in this fashion before.

Using a scatter plot to chart the results
Using a scatter plot to chart the results

Credit for the piece goes to Aaron Bycoffe and Jay Boice.

Author: Brendan Barry

I am a graphic designer who focuses on information design. My day job? I am the data visualisation manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. (This blog is my something I do on my own time and does not represent the views of the Fed, blah blah blah legal stuff.) And with my main interest in information design—be it in the shape of clear charts, maps, diagrams, or wayfinding systems—I am fortunate that my day job focuses on data visualisation. Outside of work, I try to stay busy with personal design work. Away from the world of design, I enjoy cooking and reading and am interested in various subjects from history and geography to politics to science to the arts. And I allow all of them to influence my work.

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