Election maps are telling you big lies about small things

2016, 2016 Presidential Campaign, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton

via Washington Post

In 2012, about the same number of votes were cast in these 160 counties as were cast in the rest of the country. But, your run-of-the-mill election map won’t show you that.


To understand where people voted, one must look at popular vote totals for states during the 2012 election. Take New Jersey, where 3,640,292 votes were cast in 2012, a number roughly equivalent to the number of votes cast in:
The votes cast in these seven states total just 250,000 more votes than in New Jersey.

Nine counties in and around New York City and Los Angeles combine to make up 7.9 million of the 129 million votes cast in 2012, just 260,000 votes short of votes cast in these states:


Mark Newman, a professor of physics at the University of Michigan, has found a novel solution to this problem.

He’s published cartograms of election results since 2004, using software he wrote based on a method he co-invented.