Tag Archives: politics

Iowa Caucus Results by Demographic Types

Back to the Iowa Caucus results for a moment. A lot of the day-of forecasting for elections is done by entrance and exit polls. So in this piece from the Washington Post, we take a look at entrance poll results. This is basically a two-parter. The first is showing each candidate and the group they won and a number indicates by how much they won the demographic group.

Select the 30–44 age group

Select the 30–44 age group

If you click on any of the demographic groups in particular, you are brought to the part of the page with the actual full results for the demographic. The format is simple a basic heat map with table. Nothing fancy, but nothing fancy is required for that type of data. Interestingly, the colour denotes not the share, but the result. I am not sure I would have done that, but it is a minor quibble.

The 30–44 age group results

The 30–44 age group results

Credit for the piece goes to Lazaro Gamio and Scott Clement.

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.

If the Government Were a Household

One of the things that irritates me about when people complain about government spending is the comparison against household budgeting. The two are very different. I mean on the surface, I suppose yes, both have income and both spend on stuff and services. But, to put it all in context there is this nice piece from the Washington Post that shows what US federal government monthly spending looks like from the perspective of a household earning $64k.

The government-is-a-household budget

The government-is-a-household budget

I wish I could get away with that level of spending on housing and transportation…

Credit for the piece goes to the Washington Post graphics department.

Trump’s Poll Ratings

The news this morning carried the latest polling data out of Iowa for the Republicans. And in that state, Ted Cruz now polls above Donald Trump. And so I wanted to share this post from the Economist last week that looks at how Trump rises every time he says something ridiculous. Could it just be that we should expect even more ridiculous this week?

Trump rises the lower he goes

Trump rises the lower he goes

Credit for the piece goes to the Economist’s Data Team.

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.

Paul Ryan is Your New Speaker

Paul Ryan is about to takeover for John Boehner as Speaker of the House. So the Washington Post put together a nice graphic-featuring article about how Ryan compares to previous speakers—turns out he is fairly young. But the end of the piece uses this graphic to look at the number of days, i.e. experience, each speaker had prior to taking the role.

But try comparing him to someone other than Boehner…

But try comparing him to someone other than Boehner…

By putting the dots around a circle, the Post has created an interesting graphic. But the format makes it difficult to compare individuals who are not close together.

Credit for the piece goes to Philip Bump.

English Votes for English Laws

Last week the British government announced plans to solve the West Lothian Question that centres on devolution parity for England. Many legislative powers have been devolved from London and given to the regional parliaments in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. And on the one hand that is great as the national parliament no longer tells Scottish schools what to do, which is important because of England’s clout in London because England is by far the largest part of the Union. But the on the other hand, Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish MPs still get to vote on schools in England. You can begin to see how the English feel that is unfair.

So the BBC put together this graphic trying to explain what was announced, because it is far more complicated than just giving England its own parliament. It’s a tricky and complicated issue that is worth a read. If only because the government apparently did not realise that its plan can be acronymised to EVEL.

It's EVEL I tell you. Pure EVEL.

It’s EVEL I tell you. Pure EVEL.

Credit for the piece goes to the BBC graphics department.

Trump Leads the Pack

The day after the Canadian elections, let’s turn our gaze back upon the states via this Washington Post piece. How are the Republicans doing in their primaries?

It's all about the hair

It’s all about the hair

Yep, still the land of I can’t quite believe it.

Credit for the piece goes to the Washington Post graphics department.

The Canadian Elections

Canada held an election yesterday. For your briefing on it, John Oliver did a great job on Last Week Tonight. But for the serious coverage, we have results.

Here we have the results coverage by the National Post. It’s your standard choropleth coloured by the victor in each riding, or constituency. From a design side, I find the pattern fill interesting and not something I have seen done before for a political map.

I just chose a place I had visited in Canada

I just chose a place I had visited in Canada

But I really like what the CBC did. They built an interactive application to cover the evening’s results as they arrived. This screenshot is for the riding in Fredericton, where my ancestors lived in the 19th century. (I had to have a connection to the ridings somehow.) In particular, I liked the ability to star ridings of interest and have them immediately retrievable. The CBC complemented that with a list of ridings to watch. It was a great resource for the evening.

Fredericton results

Fredericton results

But then they also covered the results with an article with interactive graphics. This is more your standard fare with choropleths, bar charts, and line charts. But they flow through the article quite sensibly. Overall, a solid results piece.

Party results per region

Party results per region

Credit for the National Post piece goes to the National Post graphics department.

Credit for the CBC piece goes to the the CBC graphics department.

The First Democratic Debate

Last month we looked at the Washington Post’s coverage of the second Republican Debate. For those unaware, the first Democratic Debate was held last night. And so it is only fair for us to look at the Post’s coverage of that event.

Who engaged whom

Who engaged whom

Credit for the piece goes to Samuel Granados, Richard Johnson, Denise Lu, Ted Mellnik, and Kevin Schaul.