Tuesday, May 4, 2010

And since I have already left the path: a bar graph

Once I have freed myself from the tyranny of confining myself to scatter plots, interesting questions have raised themselves. This one is demonstrated by a bar graph.
One of my conclusions about the "Core Electoral Votes" was that they showed that the election was indeed becoming more polarized. After thinking of ways to express this, I decided to make bar graphs showing the number of electoral votes that Obama scored a certain percentage of the popular vote in (This sentence does make sense). I then tried to find another electoral winner who had a similar-sized victory, and tried to break down their electoral votes down similarly. Although it is far from a good comparison, the best comparison to Obama's '08 victory was probably the first Bush, in '88. (2 candidates, similar numbers in popular and electoral votes).p some of the conventional wisdom:
This diagram confirms some conventional wisdom: elections are indeed becoming more polarized, at least as far as different regions of the country having different values. Bush in 1988 got more electoral votes than Obama did in 2008, but a great of them were in a narrow band between 50% and 55%. On either side of that, he fell off, getting below 45% in only a handful of states, and also getting over 60% in only a few states. The bar graphs form a triangle, of sorts. Obama, on the other hand, scored all over. His largest category for electoral votes was actually over 60%, and there are three separate peaks with two separate valleys. Even given his good popular vote and large electoral vote margins, there were areas that didn't move at all. The middle ground, between 45-55%, is much smaller than sense says it should be.

I think this does speak of polarization: in 1988, Massachusetts and Oklahoma might have different results, but the results would move together. Now, that is not the case.

No comments:

Post a Comment