Election Result Maps

Data visualizations can sometimes spur us into contemplative directions. Sometimes they can put us to sleep. These are some of the more interesting election visualizations I’ve come across:

Mark Newman, Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan: Election Maps

Robert J. Vanderbei, Professor and Chair, Operations Research and Financial Engineering, Princeton: Purple America

What the electoral map would look like if decided by 18-29 year olds

NYTimes: Election Results 2008

Interesting Analysis

David Kuhn: Politico: That huge voter turnout? Didn’t happen: “Between 60.7 percent and 61.7 percent of the 208.3 million eligible voters cast ballots this year, compared with 60.6 percent of those eligible in 2004”

Andrew Sullivan: He Saw It Coming: McCain/Palin ran a post-modern campaign (unlike Sullivan, I think it almost worked).

CNN: Number of votes cast set record, but voter turnout percentage didn’t

Associated Press: No hidden white bias seen in presidential race

CSMonitor: Obama made inroads with religious vote

NYTimes: This American Moment – The Surprises: Guess who Joe the Plumber voted for?

Salon.com: How Obama won, by the numbers: “The 18-to-29-year-old cohort supported Obama by a 2-to-1 margin (66-32), and while it is too soon to gauge precise turnout measures, their numbers clearly grew.”

Salon.com: Obama and the dawn of the Fourth Republic

NYTimes: Dissecting the Changing Electorate

Vote swings in rich and poor countries

Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Election 2008: what really happened

Interesting Tools:

A Beautiful WWW: 20 Useful Visualization Libraries

igraph Python library

physorg.com: Visualizing election polls

IBM’s Many Eyes

16 thoughts on “Election Result Maps

  1. I can find very, very similar videos showing you voters on ‘the other side’ that are just as frightening.

    So do yourself a favor and look this up:


    It feels good to get that confirmation of belief. I understand. So pat yourself on the back.

    There… feel better?

    Its typical – so yr not alone – we all do it with different things.

    You *do* know the great many videos I can bring up showing you the ignorance of *some* supporters of who you wanted to win – right?

  2. Someone has been spending time listen to that asshole Neil Bortz on the radio, haven’t they Neo.
    What Neil fails to disclose and what the film maker failed to disclose was the demographic of the polling station they choose to do this piece. I bet the viters in Hazzard county Kentucky who voted overwhemlingly for Mccain are as as uninformed as these people and truly ignorant.

    Come down to Carolina in one of these very racially and educationally diverse counties and you will find a much more well informed constituency.

    One thing they failed to ask these votes were why they were voting for Obama. They failed to ask them what policies they supported. I remember 4 and 8 years ago a Bush constituency voted for a guy where “because he was more fun than gore” or “because God told me to vote for Bush” existed. Not the norm, just as these folks here are of a minority of folks who vogted for Obama.

    It is called getting the facts Neo before you spout off at the mouth. And get over it – Obama won. A black man is president now. Deal with it.

  3. Karl –

    Not sure if you read back this far Karl. I didn’t go out of my way to find that video, stuff like that finds its way to me. The point to be made which many people don’t seem to find in that video when they hop up on their soap box is that the MEDIA pushed this past election. So I don’t know where the psychoanalysis is coming from, I don’t need a degree or a therapist to understand that.

    Somewhere around 2001 things changed in the MSM for the worse. There is no longer fair and balanced News, there is only what the “people that have,” want the “people that want,” to know. This is why blogs sprung up. Some people grew tired of the TV telling them what to feel. You and I both know when the FCC relaxed its stance on how many stations, papers, radio channels, Corporations could own, how that changed the entire atmosphere of the world of media.

    SB – To be honest, I’ve never heard of Neil whoever. I’m going to venture a guess and say he’s probably a conservative radio host?

    As for voting? Did you ever stop to realize that no matter which of the two got in the result is going to be the same? Or do you buy into the whole Repub/Demo thing?

    As for getting my facts straight, trust me when I tell you I have more facts about both of these people than I care to think about. I didn’t depend on CNN, MSNBC, FOX, and the rest to make my mind up. And I didn’t vote. As as matter of fact, I’m not even in the USA anymore. How’s that for moving on?

    I read the dirt on both of them, and one side definitely has more than the other, but it doesn’t matter. The economy is imploding, and if you live in America the bailout bill completed your slavery, as well as your Children while you stand by and wave your CHANGE banner.

    Because people believe in the illusion that they have a choice or voice means nothing to the people that really run America. The Constitution has been raped over the last 8 years while each side points their fingers at the other side, and says it’s their fault not ours, and people like you bicker and pontificate hoping to get a rise out anyone that you disagree with.

    So with that said, you can “Deal with it.” He’s your leader NOT mine.

    Have a nice day….

  4. “people like you bicker and pontificate hoping to get a rise out anyone that you disagree with.”

    Wow. I’m, not going to bite. Sorry.

    It is you who came here to share just how so called scary Obama is – to someone *you know* thinks such accusations are bullshit (obviously expressed in my joy over the Obama win (a win that resembled a 3rd party win in many ways)).

    It’s really a shame.

    This last comment had much we could discuss. For example:

    “As for voting? Did you ever stop to realize that no matter which of the two got in the result is going to be the same? Or do you buy into the whole
    Repub/Demo thing?”

    I’d LOVE to discuss that.

    But based upon your last paragraph and insult – I’d say that was never the goal was it?

  5. Karl, the second part wasn’t aimed at you.

    I’d seriously like to believe that you aren’t so deluded that you actually think that Obama is anywhere close to what an independent would be for America? There were tons of people that were way more qualified and trustworthy to lead and have the people’s needs and goals in mind. And I’m not talking about Mccain either.

    I want to point something out to you and you make of it what you will. This man ran on a platform of “Change,” right?

    So far, as of today, look at who he’s filling up his cabinet with. Take a good long hard look. All ex Clinton people.

    As a matter of fact, in the next day or two it looks like Hillary is going to get the Secretary of State job. How exactly is that change?

    He’s going to put a billionaire in the spot of Secretary of Commerce. You really think somebody that has a billion dollar bank account cares about you or your families needs and future?

    I could run the list of his picks, but I can’t do all your homework for you.

    I will return one year to the date of this past election and tell you I told you so. I don’t want to hear one person crying saying it was “All Bush’s fault,” when a democratic controlled congress and senate continue to bailout billion dollar companies with the sweat and tears of the average American workers lives and taxes.

    There is no TWO PARTY system. It’s one party with two factions, and guess what? Neither of them give a shit about you or anybody else.

    The media should have taken off the beer goggles for 10 minutes in this last election to show how empty on experience and skill Obama was. Just like they seemed to have no trouble saying those things about Palin. Running the same story to death 24 hours straight. Just like that video I linked to you showed. All those people saw was Palin’s perceived mistakes.

    They ALL seemed to know that. Why do you think that is? Because they got Brainwashed by the media. Nobody thinks for themselves anymore, and I would have liked to have thought that you were smarter than that.

    Please tell me that I’m wrong and you haven’t fallen that far from common sense?

  6. I’d like to think that my choice for Obama was guided by both pragmatism and hope. Keyword on that word pragmatism.

    You see – I never, ever expected Obama to represent some kind of ‘radical’ change so many may seem to either hope or dread. He’s neither the radical leftist that those on the far right make him out to be – or those on the far left hope he would be.

    Which – I can no longer tell – what you seem to think of the matter. Your first comment you called him a socialist – this comment – you said he was more of the same.

    So which is it?

    Fact of the matter – Clinton was the establishment candidate for the Democratic party.

    Obama’s candidacy, his challenging of of the Democratic party establishment – and yes – his campaign driven by grassroots involvement of those under 30 across the political spectrum represented EXACTLY the kind of change I hoped for. He expressed in exactly the same terms I *always* have that that the Red or Blue Americas do not exist. We are all Americans. And that political marketing via division – which both Democrats and Republicans (especially Republicans) have been employing is both destructive and dis-empowering.

    Enough of it. It was always destructive marketing by yes – two factions of the same party trying to gain or keep rule.

    He pushed a message that was counter to that. It took guts. And probably a good deal of timing.

    Now he’s choosing a cabinet with members who have ideologies from all spectrums – including those who have someone conservative views – and I love it.

    Will people be disappointed – yes. He’s not a superman. And no one can solve this country’s problems overnight. Nor in a year either.

    In fact, I’d be surprised if Obama is looked at as a ‘great’ president in the end.

    But at this moment, if we have a President that can simply steady the damn ship and plug the leaks – it will be very, very, very impressive.

    And I think Obama can do that. And maybe re-inspire us to come together and get involved again. He’s already been doing that.

    As for Obama being treated better by Palin by the media – well Hillary Clinton didn’t get any favors by the media either. And that has more to do with sexism than you probably care to believe. Still Palin’s first three weeks she was the media’s darling – and then she had that interview and it all changed. I had thought McCain had won when he picked her. But wow – she interviewed terribly. Really exposed how small minded and divisive she was. The worst qualities of Bush amplified. Besides – you really think there is an argument to be made about Palin’s skill and experience versus Obama’s? Who has been brainwashed man?

  7. I do like how Neo claims his sources for information that form his opinion are so diverse and well informed, yet he was very quick to post up that video which was veru biased and caught him hook line and sinker.

    And for you Neo to sit here and say “look who is is filling his cabinet up with” – he has put all of 3 people in place. Clinton is the correct hoice for secy. of state because she has a very good reputation and established relationship with the world community. She did wonderful work as first lady with many of these nations, they trust her, they will listen to her, so why is she such a bad choice? Geiter was picked for the Secy of Treas. because of his knowledge and involvement of the current crisis. He is a well known and respected man on wall street who people trust. Who would you have picked?
    And sorry, chief-of-staff is of no concern to you and I. In fact, I am glad they good a hard nosed asshole in place there, maybe they can stop so many leaks that has been the bane of the idiot bush white house. The leaves how many other cabinet positions opened? So letsa not throw the “clinton” factor out there quite yet.

  8. Karl –

    Well you’re stuck with him for at least 4 years, or less depending….

    Hope is the keyword that always gets tossed out every election, and most people bite and swallow it every time. 99% of people who voted for Obama couldn’t name one piece of legislature that he’d drafted. Not one…. I think that’s pretty telling. But you wouldn’t know that if you watched the cable news coverage. Palin didn’t have a bad interview (if you’re referring to the Gibson piece) That interview was HEAVILY edited by ABC.

    They showed people exactly what they wanted them to see. And they are still attacking her. It was worth more to these people to destroy a good woman to prop up a puppet with no experience and decision making skills than it was to tell the truth.

    Fact: With Obama’s checkered history and associations he couldn’t pass a FBI background check.

    Fact: Currently there are 3 lawsuit pending over his citizenship qualifications. You wouldn’t know that by watching TV either.

    Fact: Hundreds of millions of dollars that he raised were not able to be traced because the donations were submitted by pre-paid debit cards.

    But that’s ok, because he’s promising hope and change right? More like he’s “hoping,” he doesn’t get busted for fraud.

    So by your standards even if he fails he was still a great president? I’m trying to understand this. Because all I see from people who voted for him right now, is hold tight to the “Blame Bush,” mantra.

    And he IS a socialist, one that is filling his cabinet up with more of the same as you put it. Since everybody wants to quote his books, look at what he’s said about Islam in it. Look at what his wife has written about “White people,” in her college thesis. Have you read it? I have. But that’s ok, because even if he chokes, he’s still a great president right?

    But you go on living in the lie. See you next November….

  9. Right steveb.

    Neo – I agree that the two party system has been broken for a long while. Neither party’s policies match their marketing. Both have been consumed with getting and keeping elected office. There is no argument there.

    But your arguments about Obama have the ring of the right-wing biased parts of the media and the Web (note their are just as biased left-wing elements of the Web and media).

  10. Your thinking – that he is both ‘socialist’ and ‘more of the same’ shows just how fractured right leaning story lines have become. You can’t be both. That isn’t even close to making sense.

    Calling Bush, Cheney, Clinton, and the Washington establishment socialist for the last 20 years? Phhhulllleease. Where’s my part of the profits? They sure have been ‘spreading the wealth’ around to me for sure! How big was your check?

    And about the ‘mass media’ brainwashing people – for those under 30 there is no ‘mass’ media.

    It was they who overwhelmingly helped Obama win. In such percentages – it blurred political affiliation. Obama was Generation-Y’s choice. And very strongly Gen-X’s.

    There are strong reasons to be cynical about things.

    There are strong reasons to exclaim everything is fucked up.

    But nothing is beyond repair. And the only way things will start to mend is when people stop trying to find what’s wrong with one another and start trying to work together.

    We don’t need perfect hereos – they don’t exist anyway. We need ourselves and each other.

    That was Obama’s campaign theme BTW – ‘we are the change we’ve been looking for’. It spoke to me pretty strongly, and it looks like to a great many others. It stood in contrast to the ‘blame everyone else but ourselves’ tactic of every other marketing campaign.

    Marketing that – whether you realize it or not – encourages do nothing cynicism where we await some magical leader to ‘fix’ everything.

    I’m really, really fucking tired of media telling me who is evil and bad. Right, left, up and down. I’m tired of fear being used as some kind of motivator. You are part of the media whether you realize it or not. We all are.

  11. I find it amusing that NOBODY was throwing around the “socialist” term until the republican spin machine tried to capitalize on the Joe the Plumber talk. It was never even mentioned before that and now you get flaming assholes using it as if they even know what a socialist is.

  12. And into the mouths such as neo who has bought right into the spin following like a lemming.

    I wonder if neo gave back or refused his stimulus check that Goerge Bush gave him. After all, isn’t that socialism? Or what about the tax cuts Bush gave – did neo give those back? Another act of socialism I guess.

  13. There is a larger problem that Neo indicated that truly exists (although not in the way he indicates) – the news media is completely disfunctional and ineffectual as a means of transmitting any form of shared truth.

    There is NO form of shared truth any more.

    Lets not beat on Neo. He and you and me live in a postmodern media scape that lets us hold dear to our biases and reinforce them. What I believe can be false – who knows? Are you *absolutely sure* you have the truth? Neo seems to think he has the truth. So do you. So do I.

    Neo is presumably not a dumb guy. Neither are you. Yet you both see reality quite different. And both can cite URL after URL to back up any assertion.

    Think about it.

  14. Karl,

    I wish I could share your positive aspect of Neo’s thinking. While I agree the mainstream media is dysfunctional at best – when has it ever been, I find it highly irregular tha Neo can speak of a dysfunctional medium and yet as soon as a video pops up the supports his own fears, it becomes fact.

    There is no one source of unbiased factual information. It is up to our analog minds to process each but of information to form an educated opinion and debate a view. I for one do not buy into one set way of thinking. It is why I am an independant, but is surely do not play into the idea that Obama is a socialist because som Rovian prick says so or that he is a terrorist because Sally Field with a gun from Alaska cackles off about it.

    What bothers me with this entire ordeal isn’t that neo really cares whether or not Obama is a socialist, terrorist or another “ist” but the reality behind why many people did not vote for him is still simply “because he is black” when the reality here is, he is better educated, more intelligent, has a better character than his opponent did. Regrdless of the color of his skin, I could care less. Can Neo honestly and truthfully say race wasn’t a factor in his decision? I challenge MOST people who did not vote for Obama to be honest about it.

Comments are closed.