Sunday, October 5, 2008

200 Years of Electoral Maps

I'm probably as tired as anyone of the flood of red-state / blue-state maps that are currently rising in the pre-election news crescendo. Even so, the fascinating set of interactive maps at grabbed my brain for about an hour today.

The site designers have linked a considerable amount of historical information to interactive U.S. maps, which allow one to follow the political fortunes of different parties for the entire presidential history of the U.S. No matter what one's political bent, it's both troubling and comforting to see how quickly this map can change. For example, view this chart, which shows currently blue state of Washington cycling between blue and red every 3 - 5 elections.

Some of these maps are very soothing to eyes weary of red and blue only. It's nice to see a parade from yesteryear of Anti-Federalists, Whigs, National Republicans, Anti-Masonics, and the oxymoronically-named Democratic-Republicans. Then there are all of those troublesome gray staters in the 1864 election...

Although the 2008 election is still a month away, it hasn't been left out. The site includes a very slick election simulator, which will run a Monte Carlo simulation for you while you wait, using the latest polling data. Of the last 1,000 simulations, about 96.2 % of them currently look really good for Obama.

(via Daring Fireball)

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