Red vs. Blue: County Map of the US

By tankertodd Posted in Comments (7) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

I think this map is a useful illustration of the geographic popularity of Bush:

Mewsmax sells a t-shirt with this map but it's lame.  If anyone comes across a better product, please post.

maps - thanks!

Actually, neither of those adequately displays Bush's support. County maps neglect entirely the population of those counties. If you want to be completely fair, you have to realize that many of those tiny blue counties contain millions of people. I think the best representation of the county-wide electorate is here:

3d county electorate map.

This gives you a feel for the actual amount of people who do or don't support Bush, rather than just going by geographic regions that may contain only a handful of people.

Not to mention the fact that the map posted by gopjames has changed little since the 2000 election. Even the 1992 elections, looked somewhat close to the current map. It's certainly more red now, just sayin'.

is a nice webpage that has population weighted election results.

Although the county map seems disingenous in not reflecting population, our Republic is set up to respect states that aren't populous.  When our culture revolves around the media and entertainment, which in turn revolves around New York and Hollywood, it's comforting to see a different story.  

This respect for states as well as population is seen in the composition of the Congress, where in the Senate small states are represented equally with large ones.  When South Dakota has the same number of senators as California, it illustrates the protection of the "fly-over" states' interests.  Indeed, this wisdom makes the Founding Fathers that more special.

Hmm. It seems the first time I posted this it didn't get posted. I'll try to retype what I said.

Yes, it's true our government is set up to give less-populated states more power. For example, this election, a Wisconsiner's vote was worth about 4 times my vote.

However, having a straight red v. blue county map is still a misleading and inaccurate representation of the electorate. It may be "comforting to see a different story", but that story is an illusion created by geographically larger areas. For example, Montana is the 8th least populated state in the Union with 900,000 people, yet its size rivals that of Texas and California.

You imply that this un-weighted county map gives less-populated states more respect, visually. What about New Hampshire or Washington D.C. (not a state, I know, but in terms of this discussion identical to one)? These are both very low in population, but New Hampshire is small and D.C. is miniscule. Or conversely, what about Maryland? It's in the top 20 most populated states and it's very small. My point is simply that trying to get any meaningful data about the electorate from a 2-dimensional electoral map is unfair and nonsensical. You need at least 3 dimensions like brendanm's cartogram post or my 3d post.

The only truly fair map is one that shows a colored dot for every individual in the country. To get an idea what this would look like, compare this population density map with the purple america map posted by gopjames. That page also, I've just discovered, has a fairly good 3d map if you scroll down a bit. It's best we don't get carried away with misleading, but visually appealing images or we risk buying into propoganda of all kinds, not just political.

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