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It’s Election Time, Get Out Your Maps!


Renewed Interest

While checking my stats, I noticed recently that an increasing number of visitors have arrived via web searches for political/demographic mapping.  I was wondering why the increase in attention to this map, and it probably has a lot to do with the impending election.  Visitors were coming for the screenshots of the Demographic Visualization showing the political breakdown of the U.S. -Blue counties and Red counties.

I realized that many of my posts about our Demographic Visualization were made before we made it public, so readers of those older posts don’t have a link to the live version.  Well shoot, here it is; query those counties to your heart’s content (one warning, there are over 3,000 counties so don’t be surprised if queries take more than a few seconds):


Here are some more snapshots (it’s pretty fun):

The first question a candidate might ask is…Where are all of the people?

…and how did they vote last time?  The redder counties voted for Bush, the bluer ones voted for Kerry.  Most counties are pretty in-between, so you’ll see a lot of purple.

Here are the counties were 51% or more of the population voted for George Bush.  The redder counties really voted for George Bush, the bluer counties just barely went Bush’s way.

These counties voted for John Kerry by at least 51%.  Then why, if the race was so close, are there so many more counties that voted Republican?  Because Democratic voters tend to live in counties with a higher population density.  Fewer, but bigger, counties.

The really juicy counties that all the candidates want are the ones that are right on the fence, anyone has a change of winning.  Interestingly, there appears to be almost no spatial trends here; swing voters can live anywhere, be ever vigilant!

It is said that in the upcoming election, Hispanic voters will be a more key demographic group than ever before.  So, if I am a candidate with limited budget who wants to get the word out in Hispanic communities, I would probably want to focus my investment here…

These guys are virtually assured that there will be no visits from candidates.  They are either in the bag or hopeless, depending on your leaning…

Staging the perfect impromptu photo op will require carefully weighing critical factors of the general populace, not the least of which is how many babies live there.  A candidate’s most likely opportunities to kiss a baby would happen in these counties…

But at this stage of the election, everyone is scrambling for cash.  If I am a candidate with fewer and fewer fundraising days left, I’ll be splitting my time eating lobster and getting stuck in traffic, then hobnobbing around Lake Michigan, then skiing, then taking in a premier…


Make your own maps…



John Nelson / IDV Solutions / john.nelson@idvsolutions.com


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