Friday, July 27, 2018

An Extremely Detailed Map of the 2016 Election

The New York Times has published an extremely detailed map of the 2016 presidential election that will keep mapping nerds and political junkies happily clicking away for hours. So go ahead. Click away. When you come back, I'll offer my own quick observations, some confirming my priors, some surprising me.

  • The City of Richardson, and even more so, the Richardson ISD, are patchworks of red (Trump voters) and blue (Clinton voters).
  • Most of the City of Richardson is colored in pastels of red and blue, meaning the city as a whole and individual neighborhoods are fairly evenly divided. Whether "evenly" divided also means "bitterly" divided is a question a map like this can't answer.
  • The only two deeply saturated neighborhoods in the City of Richardson, both deep red, are Canyon Creek (let's call it the country club) and the neighborhood southeast of the Bush Tollway and Coit Rd (let's call it the Highland Springs Retirement Community).
  • The Richardson panhandle is blue. (Light blue but still blue, a surprise for me.)
  • The Richardson ISD is split, generally red in the north (that country club again) and west (Far North Dallas) and south (Lake Highlands), with a deep blue streak across its middle along LBJ freeway. The only deep red splotch in southern RISD is the neighborhood immediately surrounding Lake Highlands High School. If it seems like Lake Highlands is a flashpoint for RISD racial issues (or proxies for racial issues), the close proximity of that deep blue belt and deep red splotch might explain it.
  • That deep blue belt across the middle of the RISD suggests that single member districts, if drawn carefully, could result in different voting patterns in different districts, which in turn could lead to more diversity on the board of trustees.
  • Farther afield, Plano is geographically split — deep blue in east Plano and red in west Plano. Collin County gets its reputation for being deep red not from the cities, but from the deep, deep red exurban and rural areas in far north and east Collin County.
  • Even farther afield, the nation as a whole is divided, not so much between red states and blue states, but between red rural areas and blue cities, with the suburbs being the purple turf where elections are fought, won and lost. Richardson's map is one such battlefield.


Mark Steger said...

By the way, some have already challenged this New York Times map as distorting the national vote by filling in entire precincts red or blue no matter what the density of voters in that district. The sparsely populated rural districts overwhelm the densely populated urban districts in such a map. They prefer maps that use dots to represent each vote. Wired magazine has that map and others to give other ways to represent the 2016 elections results: "IS THE US LEANING RED OR BLUE? IT ALL DEPENDS ON YOUR MAP".

Mark Steger said...

Clarification triggered by private feedback: The deep red is in Canyon Creek HOA, although calling it Prairie Creek is fine. The county line splits the CC country club, which falls mostly in Collin County and is blue. But the north country club district extends west to include the young voters of UT-D. I bet the Canyon Creek voters alone are deep red, but the map doesn't provide that detail.

Bryan c holland said...

Really fascinating.