Independent Candidates

Well, the election battleground has been set: Trump vs. Clinton. (Yes, I know the District of Columbia has yet to vote.) For those unhappy with the choices presented, the question of “what about a third party candidate?” arises. (Yes, I know there is both a Libertarian Party and Green Party already.) Months ago, FiveThirtyEight looked at where Michael Bloomberg fell as a third party candidate, a run he briefly considered. Turns out he too moved out of the middle and into one of the four corners of the board.

The lay of the land for outsider candidates, ca January
The lay of the land for outsider candidates, ca January

Credit for the piece goes to Nate Silver.

Counterbalancing Presidential Support

The night after the California primary—or as an East Coaster should say, the night of the New Jersey primary—we take a look at how US presidents often experience a counterbalancing political force in state, gubernatorial, House, and Senate races. The content comes from the Washington Post and it makes use of nicely annotated graphics, including the screenshot below.

How Senate control changed
How Senate control changed
How Senate control changed
How Senate control changed

What I enjoy about the piece, however, is how it responds to a narrower browser, like one might see on a mobile phone. The screenshot to the right shows how the data visualisation changes. You can see how some of the annotations disappear, like the note about Nixon’s support growing.

The same adaptation to the display occurs for the other graphics throughout the piece, with axes and orientations changing to take advantage of the more vertical orientation.

I also think it is worth pointing out that the more illustrative ornamentation of the piece, i.e. the presidential illustrations, drop off completely. I could have lived without them as they do not contribute directly to the data story. I also think the white lines on the charts above could be removed to make the narrower margins more visible on the charts.

Credit for the piece goes to Stephanie Stamm.

Fact Checking Trump’s Small Multiples

Today marks the end of primary season for the US presidential election. By all accounts, at night’s end Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee, but Bernie Sanders, while unlikely to win, could make California interesting tonight. And then there is Donald Trump. He is the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee and man, can that guy tweet.

Thursday he retweeted a set of small multiple charts arguing that President Obama’s legacy is an absolute disaster.

Trump's retweeted charts
Trump’s retweeted charts

Friday the Washington Post went through all nine points and fact-checked the charts, this being the refutation of the Food Stamps chart.

Food stamps are actually going back down
Food stamps are actually going back down

The whole thing is worth a quick read.

Credit for the piece goes to Philip Bump.

Miniature Ball Fields

Last week Jackie Bradley Jr., the starting centerfielder for the Boston Red Sox, saw his hit-streak end at 29 games. For those of you who do not follow baseball, that means he hit the ball and reached first base safely without causing an out for 29 games in a row. Quite a feat. Anyway, because it is a feat, the story gets covered and in this case, by the Boston Globe.

They wrote several articles on Bradley and the hit streak, but this one included a small, interactive graphic that mapped out his hits. Because a streak exists over time, the component includes a slider to show how the hits have progressed.

Bradley hit to all parts of the field
Bradley hit to all parts of the field

Worth keeping in mind that this was merely a sidebar graphic, not a large and fully immersive piece. The piece itself features only a few tables detailing baseball data comparisons, but it exists in a new design layout from the Globe featuring bigger, glossier photographs. Not all graphics need to be the biggest element on the page. From a pacing perspective, it sometimes helps to have a small graphic placed next to the important text to provide immediate context. Speaking of context…

The graphic in the context of the page
The graphic in the context of the page

Overall, a very nice piece.

Credit for the piece goes to the Boston Globe graphics department.

Your State and the Google

Well today has arrived and it is finally Friday. So if you are a Pennsylvanian like me, according to research by Estately (hat tip to a good friend and regular reader), the question I am likely asking is “When is X-Files?”. What did your state enquire of the Google?

Where is the Internet? Who is Spain?  Why is Hitler?
Where is the Internet? Who is Spain? Why is Hitler?

I mean I liked the new series. Even if just for the rush of nostalgia.

Credit for the piece goes to Ryan Nickum.

Bonus points if you get the reference.

Basketball Finals

So the basketball finals begin tonight with the Cleveland Cavaliers taking on the Golden State Warriors. This is also the part of the post where I fully admit I know almost nothing about basketball. I did, however, catch this so-labelled infographic from ESPN contrasting the two teams.

Point differential
Point differential

What I appreciate at this piece is that ESPN labelled it an infographics. And while the data might be at times light, this is more a data-rich experience than most infographics these days. Additionally the design degrades fairly nicely as your browser reduces in size.

The chart formats themselves are not too over-the-top (that seemed like a decent basketball pun when I typed it out) with bars, line, and scatter plots. Player illustrations accent the piece, but do not convey information as data-encoded variables. I quibble with the rounded bar charts for the section on each team’s construction, but the section itself is fascinating.

I might not know most of the metrics’ definitions, but I did not mind reading through the piece.

Go Red Sox.

Credit for the piece goes to Luke Knox and Cun Shi.

World Income

Over the weekend I found myself curious about the notion of a growing global middle class. So I dug up some data from the Pew Research Center and did some analysis. The linked piece here details that analysis.

The growth in middle income populations
The growth in middle income populations

I go into more detail than just a map. Hopefully you enjoy the piece and find the analysis informative if not useful.

Credit goes to myself on this one.

Why All the Nationalism?

Brexit is coming, Brexit is coming. Something about red coats? I couldn’t resist. But, the prospect of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union is real, though still not likely according to the latest polling data. What drives the sentiment to get out, kick out the illegal immigrants, and restrict new immigrants from arriving—where have I heard that before—? Well, the Washington Post takes a look at a plausible economic cause.

Comparing British recessions
Comparing British recessions

And because I am pretty sure I have heard something similar, the article makes a case for countries beyond the British Isles.

Credit for the piece goes to Matt O’Brien.

Fruits and Vegetables

Friday is finally here and so for many that means it is time for the desserts and the drinks. But before you get that far, we all need to eat our fruits and vegetables. Thankfully the Washington Post has an article that examines changes in the appearance of our fruits and veggies over time.

Portrait of a man made in fruit and veggies
Portrait of a man made in fruit and veggies

Credit for the piece goes to Giuseppe Arcimboldo. It’s not everyday I credit a Renaissance artist on the blog.