Best Election Maps

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With every major news outlet hosting some form of a 2012 Presidential election map, what are the best election maps to keep an eye on?  What maps helps visualize the political leanings of Americans as the 2012 Presidential election nears?  Know of a great election map? Send your suggestions to

Best Overall Election Maps

The NY Times is a leading source for excellent data visualizations on a variety of subjects and its section on the Electoral Map is no exception to that.  The map is primarily presented as a cartogram although there is a smaller geographic data to the right.  The states are squares sized in relation to the number of electoral votes.  Solidly democratic states are colored blue and solidly republican states are colored red.  States that only slightly lean democratic or republican are shaded with diagonal stripes and undecided states are yellow.

Hover over each state in the cartogram for summary information about the number of votes and political leaning.  You can also see the summary results by hovering over the states on the geographic map.  Underneath the map is a synopsis by the NY Times on each of the states with diagonal shading.

Different scenarios are presented on the next nine pages of how those 89 undecided electoral votes will vote.  Users can also play around with the votes by dragging them towards Obama’s or Romney’s circle.

2012 electoral map by the NY Times
2012 electoral map by the NY Times

Google’s Politics and Elections section is a great place to head for election maps.  The explorer section has a map created in collaboration with CNN where users can explore state by state differences in the two presidential campaign’s spending, travel, and fundraising.  The Voter Information section has a map lookup for users to find their nearest polling place.  Stay tuned to Google’s Election space as results will be streamed live on election night.

Google's Election Map
Google’s Election Map

Twitter Election Maps

Twitter is an excellent forum for real time reaction and gauging engagement.  Twitter has launched a Political Engagement Map that looks at engagement with the two main presidential candidates on a state level.  

On each side of the map is a bar graph highlighting the most engagements on Twitter for specific tweets.  Click on a bar to see the tweet and a choropleth map showing which states had the highest twitter engagement with that particular tweet.  

For example, Obama’s September 6th tweet ““No family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don’t have the money” had the highest reaction in Texas along with the states of Kansas, Mississippi, Georgia, District of Columbia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Florida, Connecticut, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico.  

Romney’s top engaged tweet on 9/11 of “On this most somber day, America is united under God in its quest for peace and freedom at home and across the world” had the most reaction in Utah along with Kansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama.

Users can also filter the map by keyword.  For example, a search for “women” shows a very lopsided engagement. Vice President Biden’s quote of “I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people, women, that they can’t control their bodies.” receiving the highest level of engagement.   There are many tweets from Obama’s twitter handle about women that had a high level of Twitter engagement whereas there are only three tweets from Romney’s handle with measurable Twitter engagement.
Twitter Map showing Political Engagement.
Twitter Map showing Political Engagement.

It’s the battle of the presidential election tweets.  Who is being tweeted about more?  Maptimize, who put together the One Million Tweet Map, have created the Obama/Romney Tweet Battle Map.  The map looks at geolocated tweets about either presidential candidate.  Currently, Obama leads with over 58% of all geolocated tweets (3.4 million tweets and counting).  Romeny has captured to date about 42% of tweets (2.4 millions tweets and counting).  The map can be filtered by geolocated tweets for either candidate or viewed as a heat map.  Underneath the map is a bar graph where users can see tweets by the hour or the cumulative tweets overall for each candidate.

Obama / Romney Twitter Map
Obama versus Romney Tweet Battle

Amazon Election Heat Map

Think book buying is the real way to predict the 2012 presidential race?  Amazon has been tracking the presidential election through purchase of what it calls “red books” versus “blue books”.  The Amazon Election Heat Map indicates that 60% of books purchased in the past 30 days are Republican leaning (red books) and 40% of books purchased to date are Democratic leaning (blue books).

Amazon Election Heat Map 2012
Amazon Election Heat Map 2012

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