Is America Turning Purple?

With Hillary Clinton scheduled to accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for president tonight in Philadelphia, the U.S. general election is officially upon us.

Election Results

Click the image to expand.

That means we can expect plenty of fireworks, cable news prognostication, and partisan bile in the next three months. Most of that, it’s safe to say, is best ignored. Fortunately, an election year also brings plenty for the history- and data-minded among us.

With Nov. 8 in mind, we took a look at how state-by-state voting results have changed over the last 13 presidential elections. You can find our visualization – made in OnePager for Excel – here, or expand it by clicking the thumbnail on this page. Bright blue means an overwhelming Democratic victory, and red means the same for the Republicans. Shades of purple represent a closer vote; true purple would be a 50-50 tie.

What do we learn when we examine historical voting trends this way? Quite a few things. Continue reading

Visualizing a ‘Brexit’ Project Plan

It’s enough to make any professional project manager’s skin crawl. The United Kingdom’s pending exit from the European Union – the biggest shakeup in Western statecraft since the fall of the Soviet Union – appears to be proceeding essentially without a plan.

David Cameron, Britain’s Prime Minister, is stepping down before October. He’s said he won’t trigger Article 50 – the EU’s method for a member state resigning – in the near future; that’s up to his successor. And even when (or if) Article 50 is invoked, no one quite knows exactly how the “Brexit” itself will work – the rule has never been used.

Continue reading