Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Cartograms of the 2004 US presidential election
University of Michigan's Michael Gastner, Cosma Shalizi, and Mark Newman approach the election results via "cartograms" -- maps in which the sizes of states have been rescaled according to their population.
States are drawn with a size proportional not to their sheer topographic acreage -- which has little to do with politics -- but to the number of their inhabitants. States with more people appearing larger than states with fewer, regardless of their actual square mileage Thus, a cartogram of Rhode Island, with its 1.1 million inhabitants, would appear about twice the size of Wyoming, which has half a million, even though Wyoming has 60 times the acreage of Rhode Island.
This map shows Red/Purple/Blue coounties, reflecting the intensity of the vote for either party by county. The Redder, the more Republican votes, the Bluer, more Democratic votes. Purple counties reflect a fairly even split:
Now converting this into a cartogram -- controlling for population rather than land mass -- reveals this:
So much for the Red/Blue discussion -- this is an evenly divided nation . . .
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