As the 2012 US Presidential election heats up, the array of maps for analyzing likely outcomes is increasing. Different data, different interactivity, and different visualizations all give each map a slightly different angle. Here are eight different interactive election maps, and a little about what they did wrong and what they did right.
Before we jump into each map, though, a refresher on the electoral college might be helpful. Rather than a direct election scheme using pure popular vote, the electoral college system uses electors designated to each state who cast the official votes for president (270 electoral votes to win). These electors pledge to vote for specific candidates, however they are not legally bound to vote the way they pledge. For 48 states, the electors are an “all or nothing” arrangement. So if the popular vote for the state swings one way, all electors vote that direction. For Maine and... keep reading