How Moderate is John Kasich

Last night contained one victory for John Kasich. The Ohio governor outlasted all but Trump and Cruz and therefore represents the only establishment candidate. He also supposedly represents the moderate wing of the Republican Party. But within an article on FiveThirtyEight is a map showing how he may not be as moderate as he claims. Kasich has signed legislation creating difficult conditions for clinics and so many have closed.

Abortions and clinics
Abortions and clinics

Credit for the piece goes to Ella Koeze.

GOP Media Time

Well, Super Tuesday is over. And if you spent last night under a rock, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton cleaned almost enough house to brush away their competition. Almost. The political analysis begins…now. But we will leave that for another day. I liked this one particular chart from FiveThirtyEight’s coverage.

Media coverage
Media coverage

We have a nice set of small multiples—please kill the cute illustrations of the candidates’ heads—comparing the number of items in Google News and Google Searches. The graphic goes a long way in showing just how much coverage Trump has received over the past few months against very little for others.

Credit for the piece goes to FiveThirtyEight’s graphics department.

The Iowa Caucuses

If you did not realise it, today is the first day of the second phase of the American presidential election process. Phase 1 was all the posturing and getting-to-know-me stuff from every candidate. A few dropped out, but now the first votes will be placed in the cold and later tonight snowy town centres of Iowa. The big story for Iowa is can Trump fend off Cruz and can Hillary fend off Bernie. (I like how we can clearly delineate the two parties by whether we use surnames or given names.)

I love election season and in particular the visualisations that go along with them. But I have been making a conscious effort not to go overboard. But that phase is over, so today we look at FiveThirtyEight’s range plots that I have enjoyed for some time now.

Who will be first in Iowa?
Who will be first in Iowa?

They are sort of like a more intuitive version of the familiar box plot. Your highest probability falls within the red—what other colour did you expect—and the average value is denoted. But you can also see that the curves are asymmetric. In short, anybody from Carson up really has a shot. But expect to see Trump or Cruz on top in Iowa.

The race, however, is not quite as exciting on the Democratic side. However, much like I am surprised that Trump is not just still running, but leading, I am surprised about Bernie Sanders’ strength. While he is further behind than Cruz is behind Trump, it is still quite possible for Iowa to “feel the Bern” as they say.

The Democratic plots
The Democratic plots

There are of course other visualisation pieces out there—on this page even—but how about we ease into the commentary? After the presidential election is much more a marathon than a sprint. Anyway, I guess we will all see how accurate these plots are come this time Tuesday.

Credit for the piece goes to the FiveThirtyEight design team.

Married Men

Sorry for not writing the last few weeks, but I was on a much needed holiday. But I’m back now. And first things first, one of my good mates got engaged whilst I was back in Philadelphia. And so in honour of that we have today’s piece.

Married men
Married men

As the graphic might hint, it’s about marriage. The piece dates from September of last year—2015 and I think I will have to get used to that for a few weeks—and looks at the demographics of marriage mostly in the United States. The chart above in particular looks at men that are married at every age by year, i.e. how many men aged 30 were married in 1960 versus 2013.

Credit for the piece goes to Mona Chalabi.

The Relative Value of Republican Primary Votes

The day after Election Day—no, not that Election Day—we take a look at a nice scatter plot from FiveThirtyEight. They explore how an eventual conservative candidate, whoever that may be, will face a structural challenge. There are slightly more delegates at play in blue states than red. And typically those blue Republicans are “less religious, more moderate and less rural.” The big graphic supporting their argument looks at the value of the primary votes. Surprise, surprise, the higher-value primary votes come from blue states.

The relative value of the votes
The relative value of the votes

Credit for the piece goes to the FiveThirtyEight graphics department.

Spicing It Up (Or Not If You Like Caraway)

Here is a post for all you cooks and bakers out there: spices. Over the weekend I came upon a piece FiveThirtyEight ran earlier this year about American spice consumption. They use spice availability as a proxy for consumption, because no such data exists—and unfortunately the standard for reporting changed in 2012 so data is only available until then. But the piece uses some nice small multiples and a combined line chart to show some changes. Of note is the decision not to include ginger in the first, most likely because its scale would distort the rest of the chart. Anyway, if you are hungry, probably a good idea not to check this out.

How some spices have changed
How some spices have changed

Credit for the piece goes to the FiveThirtyEight graphics department.

Red Sox Hire Dave Dombrowski

The Boston Red Sox made big baseball news last night by announcing the hiring of former Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski to head Boston’s baseball operations. The second big piece of baseball news, Boston’s GM, Ben Cherington, has resigned as he does not want to work under Dombrowski.

As you might figure, I enjoy data’s role in baseball. That Dombrowski is not the biggest analytics-embracing GM worries me a bit. But after re-reading FiveThirtyEight’s piece on the value he brings—naturally through some data and analysis—I think I will at least give him a season or two before calling for his head.

Where Dombrowski fits
Where Dombrowski fits

Credit for the piece to Ron Arthur.

Uber vs. Taxi (in New York)

I just spent the weekend back in my hometown of Philadelphia and while we walked most places, there were a few Uber rides. As someone who doesn’t use the app and normally will hail a taxi when necessary, I had been looking forward to posting this piece. FiveThirtyEight looked at data for New York comparing Uber to taxis.

Share in New York
Share in New York

Credit for the piece goes to Reuben Fischer-Baum.

How Can a Bar Chart Explain an Epidemic?

Today’s piece really is not a flashy one. I mean you can see that from the bar chart below. But, FiveThirtyEight put together a piece around it explaining just how that one chart is incredibly useful.

The epidemic curve
The epidemic curve

Credit for the graphic goes to the New York City Department of Health. For the analysis piece, that goes to FiveThirtyEight.

The Funding Sources for the 2016 Candidates

We are past the halfway point for summer in 2015 and that means the autumn 2016 presidential election is off and running. But running an election campaign, if even just for the primary phase, costs money. So where does each candidate receive its money? Well, FiveThirtyEight looked at the early reporting and identified four types. Their scatter plot does a nice job of summarising the state of the field.

Funding source types
Funding source types

Credit for the piece goes to the FiveThirtyEight graphics department.