04/11/2017

Newly Released 2016 Election Map Shows Democrats Should Be Worried About Future

Martin Walsh, RedState

The Trump White House hasn’t exactly gotten off to the best start, but it is important to remember how unlikely it was that Trump was even going to win the presidency in 2016.

Trump went from having almost a zero percent chance of winning the White House to ordering missile strikes against the Assad regime in Syria after a chemical weapons attack.

Almost everyone got it incredibly wrong this past election cycle, so the most important question going forward is: which party is in better shape going forward?

Ryne Rohla at Decision Desk HQ decided to research voting patterns and models from a much different perspective to answer that question.

Instead of studying patterns from the national and state level, Rohla decided to dig much deeper and analyze voting patterns from local precincts.

Rohla explains the reasoning behind the study and the importance of it in his piece, “Creating a National Precinct Map“:

Election results show so much more than simply who won and lost a constitutionally-legitimized popularity contest. Election results lay bare the souls of its voters, translating millions of individual hopes, dreams, fears, aspirations, and biases into tangible, observable quantities. No census or survey can truly capture that singular moment of personal truth which occurs in the ballot box.

We can identify your race, your income, a list of a thousand other measurable values which statistically imply the outcome of this moment, but as deterministic as we might try to make it seem, it always comes down to a final act of free will. These individual acts sum to make manifest the inner milieu of a people at a particular moment in time, a secular sacrament ordaining to our political priesthood.

Succinctly, Rohla explains that in order to better understand “middle America” and what issues may be driving voting trends and patterns, there is a need to study data much more closely.

This would be very difficult, but necessary.

Precinct data, despite providing the clearest available picture of how areas vote, can be quite difficult to both come by and to visualize. There isn’t a singular, unified source of precinct-level data nationally nor even at the statewide level in many cases. Precinct boundaries frequently shift over time, especially during the decennial redistricting process following each Census.

After spending most of my spare time in 2015 working on a global religion map, the 2016 Presidential Primaries rolled around, and I decided to go for it: I would do everything in my power to create a national precinct map. I didn’t have a team of researchers. I didn’t have aides. I didn’t have much extra money. I didn’t have connections. But for some reason, I thought I could do it anyway.

Hundreds of emails and phone calls and months of work later, here’s what I came up with:

capture

Rohla also mapped out how precincts voted in 2012 when Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney:

 

capture

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