Of course, he got impeached anyway. And, of course, the red on that map didn’t actually demonstrate political popularity.
This is a quadrennial issue in presidential politics. Every four years, we get new election results, and every four years, people start passing around state- or county-level results maps that show a massive sea of red — reflecting Republican strength in expansive, sparsely populated rural areas. New York City occupies a few pixels; Sweetwater County, Wyo., with its 44,000 people, occupies hundreds of times as much real estate. So, every four years, we get a flood of maps reframing the results to emphasize the number of voters supporting each candidate, not the number of acres.
So, heck. Let’s just get it over with, shall we?
Here are preliminary county-level results as of Nov. 5 for the contiguous United States. These may change a bit, but it’s probably a fairly good guide to how the election turned out. The darker the blue (voted for former vice president Joe Biden) or red (voted for Trump), the bigger the candidate’s margin of victory.
You can see Biden’s strength in the Northeast, Southwest and Northwest. But mostly you just see all that red.
One way to fix that is to scale the results by county relative to the number of votes cast. Using Edison Research’s estimates of the total number of votes per county (given the outstanding votes in California in particular), we get a map that looks like this.
This doesn’t work that well for a few reasons. The first is that the scaled shading de-emphasizes the results in some counties, particularly against a white background. The second is the overlap: New York City’s five counties all blend together.
It’s easy to solve the first problem. Here’s a simple blue-red scale, eliminating the shading of the results.
But we still have the overlap problem. One way to adjust for that is to change from solid circles to outlines.
A little better, but not much.
So we take the more labor-intensive approach: separating out each circle independently. Here’s that map with scaled results.
And using a simpler red-blue scale.
Here’s the acreage map again, for the sake of comparison.
The stippled map clearly does a better job of conveying the relative weight of the vote in each county. It also makes it easier to pick out things such as municipal areas (you can easily spot Denver, Dallas or Minneapolis, for example), as well as rural and suburban regions. (Notice the light red around Dallas in the first stippled map above.)
So there you go — some results, which will be updated over time as votes are counted. But if you’re looking for a map to hang in your house that accurately conveys a sense of what happened over the short term, we recommend the stippled versions above.
Seems unlikely Trump will choose to do so.