Over and over again, I’ve found myself digging into Census Bureau data to suss out details of the demographics of some House district or other. The Census Bureau has very robust data, but it takes some effort to unearth it. Over time, I’ve built up a number of spreadsheets with data on demographics, geography and populations that can inform how voters in those districts are likely to cast their ballots.
Why? Because demographics tell us a lot about what to expect from this (and every) election.
Let’s just take one example. Compare the density of the nonwhite population in a congressional district with Cook Political Report’s Partisan Voter Index, or PVI.
The more densely nonwhite a district, the more heavily Democratic it is. Overlap that with the population that lives in urban areas (the size of the circles above) and some obvious patterns emerge.
But, again, comparing districts on these data is cumbersome. Or, rather, was cumbersome. I took the data I had compiled and put it into an interactive form.
Compare to: or
In most cases, the data is from the Census Bureau, using the most recent data available for each district. The 2012 and 2016 vote data in the districts is from Daily Kos’s excellent database of results. The maps are via GovTrack.us. We’ve included information about the current or most recent representative from each district (compiled by The Washington Post) as well as Cook’s most-recent ratings for each House seat, where applicable.
We used that data to compile two averages: one for all districts overall and one for the closest races in Cook’s estimation. We’ve also included a tool to let you find the closest district to where you are (though this is rough, locating the closest district centerpoint).
There is a lot of data in the tool above. Find something interesting? Let us know in the comments.