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October 16, 2016

Makeover Monday - Trump vs. Clinton: A Race for the Presidency

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This week for Makeover Monday we look at election forecasting data by Drew Linzer and visualised both on his website ( and on Daily Kos Elections. I first met Drew back in 2012 when I asked him to come speak at Facebook. When I tell people who Drew is, I say that he does the same kind of work as Nate Silver, except he's transparent about how his models work.

Given that we're nearing the end of the election cycle (thank god!), we thought it would be a good time to see how the races are stacking up. First, let's look at the viz from Daily Kos:

What works well?

  • The interactivity is amazing!
  • Nice summary on the left
  • The dots for the polls add nice context
  • Simple and easy to understand
  • Great overall design
  • Great use of color

What could be improved?

  • I wish the most recent results would stay on the line chart as I hover over another date. Yes, I know they are on the left, but then my eyes have to move back and forth.

For my version, I wanted to learn how to create small multiple tile maps, so I went straight to Matt Chamber's blog. I added a couple bells and whistles to it too:

  • I added a reference line on each state at 50% to help show if one of the candidates has more than half the vote.
  • I included bar charts in the tooltips.

I really like the line chart by Daily Kos, so I rebuilt that as well. I decided to use a parameter for alternative date because this allowed me to address the issue of not seeing the latest forecast as well. I color coded the lines based on whether they are above or below the date picked by the user.

Once again, I've learned a ton working on Makeover Monday. Click on the image for the interactive version.

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