Election Map Shows Mostly Purple, Not Red and Blue, Nation

A map of the 2012 presidential election results created by Chris Howard, a fantasy and science fiction author and illustrator, takes into account vote percentages and population density to show a more nuanced understanding of the election results.

Looking at the election results by county (map #2), as a CP blogger recently did, may lead one to wonder how President Barack Obama won. The map is mostly red because Mitt Romney won most of the nation's counties.

The reason this happened is that most rural areas vote Republican and most urban areas vote Democratic. So while Obama won fewer counties, the counties he did win are densely populated.

The election was also close in most areas of the country. Map #3, created by Mark Newman, professor of physics at the University of Michigan, uses vote percentages to show a blended map. For that map, if the vote is divided evenly in an area, 50 percent for Obama and 50 percent for Romney, it would be colored purple (blue and red make purple). Slightly more Obama votes would be slightly more blue, slightly more Romney votes would be slightly more red. From that map, one can see some dark red areas, some dark blue areas, and a lot of purple.

To get an even more detailed representation of the 2012 presidential election outcome, Howard wondered what Newman's blended map would look like if overlayed with population density, so he created map #1.

The areas of the map that have high population density are darker and the areas that have low population density are lighter.

From this map, it is more obvious that Obama was the winner. The map is still mostly purple, but there are a lot of dark blue areas on the map and the red areas are only lightly colored.

Howard posted his map on his Facebook page on Saturday. At the time of this publication, it had been shared 9,976 times. The map can also be found on Howard's website here.

Free CP Newsletters

Join over 250,000 others to get the top stories curated daily, plus special offers!


Most Popular

More In Politics