Lying Election Maps

by Mike Shea on 14 November 2004

Right-leaning extremist, Vic Fraenckel, posted this election result by county map on his propaganda site, Readerless Blog. I believe the point of the map is to show just how large a majority voted for Bush. While the actual statistics of the map are displays of the counties that voted for Bush, the assumption from the display is that most of America voted for Bush.

A far more reasonable and acceptable way to display this year's election is in simple numbers: 51% bush, 48% Kerry (accidental lower case name kept in to avoid IMs about rewriting history).

Other useful numbers might be the electoral win: 286 Bush, 252 Kerry. I hate the electoral collage and a statistical view doesn't show actual numbers. Actual numbers show: 59,459,765 Bush, 55,949,407 Kerry.

All that bullshit Lysenko map shows is what percentage of landmass voted for whom. The two elements of data, landmass size, county boundaries, and votes for Kerry or bush (damn, I did it again), have little actual meaning when shown together. Putting shit on a map doesn't always help and here, it very much muddies the actual data. Looking at that map would make a viewer think that far more people voted for Bush than Kerry. The actual numbers above show that theory to be dead wrong.

Another map linked by Vic shows includes a population view. Here's an interesting question this map brings up. Why did more people living in smaller areas vote for Kerry than Bush? Why did more rural people vote for Bush? In any case, I don't see what geography has to do at all with the results. Showing it on a map pushes a false relation between physical surface area and Bush's victory.