Stepping away from both the Brexit drama and the aircraft drama of the week, let’s look at US political drama. Specifically, the Democratic field and some of the early support for candidates and assumed-to-be candidates.
This piece comes from an article about the bases of various candidates. From a data visualisation perspective it uses a scatter plot to compare the net favourability of the candidate to the share of people who have an opinion about said candidate.
But what if you don’t know who the candidate is? As in, you don’t know what they look like. Well, then it might be difficult to find Bernie or Elizabeth Warren. This kind of graphic relies on facial recognition. I’m not certain that’s the best, especially when one is talking about a field in which people may not know or have an opinion on the candidates in question.
Another drawback is that the sizes of the faces are large. And, especially in the lower left corner, this makes it easier to obscure candidates. Where exactly is Sherrod Brown? Between a unidentified face and that of Terry McAuliffe.
I think a more simplistic dot/circle approach would have worked far better in this instance.
Credit for the piece goes to the FiveThirtyEight graphics department.
Last week I mentioned that it appeared Politico was running with articles featuring data visualisation. Just this morning I stumbled upon another article, this one about the Blue Dog Democrats. For those that do not know, Blue Dogs are basically a more conservative Democrat and were the remnants of the Democratic south. But in 2010, they got all but wiped out. This article looks at how and where they might just be coming back.
If this trend of data-driven and visualised content continues, the Politico could be doing some interesting work over the next year. By then we will be in a rather intense mid-term cycle and there might be some political news to coverage.
Credit for the piece goes to the Politico graphics department.
Alas, these are not the fun type of parties, but the two main US political ones. But overall, before some more primary and caucus votes tomorrow, I think this Wall Street Journal piece nicely captures and illustrates the changes in and the differences between the bases of the two parties.
Credit for the piece goes to the Wall Street Journal graphics department.