Beyond Red and Blue: 7 Ways to View the Presidential Election Map

Slide show reveals what the country would look like if politics trumped geography

© 2008 M. E. J. Newman

Electoral maps are all the rage in presidential election coverage, with NBC going so far as to turn the Rockefeller Center ice rink in New York City into a map of the U.S. on Election Day. As the network called states for the two candidates, Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain, staffers manually colored those states blue or red, respectively.

Mark Newman, a professor of physics at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, took the simplistic concept of red and blue states and exploded it, reimagining the country as defined by its politics and not by its borders. His "cartograms" take state- and county-level election returns as well as data about population and electoral college representation and churn out a vision of the U.S. that is novel, yet still recognizable.

Slide Show: Beyond Red and Blue States

Share this Article:


You must sign in or register as a member to submit a comment.
Scientific American Holiday Sale

Scientific American Mind Digital

Get 6 bi-monthly digital issues
+ 1yr of archive access for just $9.99

Hurry this offer ends soon! >


Email this Article


Next Article