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Author Topic: Map with both people and land  (Read 5521 times)
Beet
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« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2004, 11:01:24 pm »
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Kerry lost in the places that Bush won. 

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Not necessarily.

As far as I can tell, each county was one by EITHER Bush OR Kerry. No county was won by both candidates simulataneously.

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I can't tell from these maps the relative strengths of each in any given area.

The higher the bar, the higher the relative strength. The lower the bar, the lower the relative strength. That's what it means. It is also labelled.

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It tells me that Kerry won in the cities, to which I reply, "Duh."

If that's all the map reveals, I guess the Washington Post could have just printed the sentence "KERRY WON IN CITIES" instead of creating that map? Perhaps you should e-mail the editors to enlighten them about their mistake for future elections?

Engineer-

1. the map is labelled "height shows the margin of victory"

2. You can look up that information in a table. There are over 3,000 counties. If each one was labelled on a map, it would be so impossibly cluttered that you wouldn't be able to read it easily. Hence, that is why there are tables. In fact, you can look up that information on this website.

3. Probably neither 1% OR 10%. Candidates rarely win by exact percentage points. Again, you can look that up on this website.

4. Actually, it's total number of votes, not percentages, that counts. If you win 90% in county A and just 45% in county B, in a state with only 2 counties, you have won the average percents. But you did not necessarily win the state. However, if you won more absolute votes than any other person, that generally counts as a win on the state level. Hence, the total number of votes in the county is more helpful than percentages.

5. The total number of people is also irrelevant. That in no way factors into the calculus.

6. In no county, as far as I know, did all the people vote for Kerry. But this still doesn't make total numbers of votes less important than county percentages. It's more important to win a decent percentage in a county with a lot of people than a high percentage in a county with very few people.

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If there is any additional confusion, feel free to ask. Also, feel free to check out these sites:

How to read maps

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« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2004, 11:08:44 pm »
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Kerry lost in the places that Bush won. 

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Not necessarily.

As far as I can tell, each county was one by EITHER Bush OR Kerry. No county was won by both candidates simulataneously.

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I can't tell from these maps the relative strengths of each in any given area.

The higher the bar, the higher the relative strength. The lower the bar, the lower the relative strength. That's what it means. It is also labelled.

Quote
It tells me that Kerry won in the cities, to which I reply, "Duh."

If that's all the map reveals, I guess the Washington Post could have just printed the sentence "KERRY WON IN CITIES" instead of creating that map? Perhaps you should e-mail the editors to enlighten them about their mistake for future elections?


Wrong again.  If I look at Phila for example, I can see that had about 500,000 votes.  It's hard for me to know how many Bush had.  I don't 700,000 votes case, or 1,400,000 votes cast.   I really provides very little information that is useful.
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« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2004, 11:12:43 pm »
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Kerry lost in the places that Bush won. 

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Not necessarily.

As far as I can tell, each county was one by EITHER Bush OR Kerry. No county was won by both candidates simulataneously.

Quote
I can't tell from these maps the relative strengths of each in any given area.

The higher the bar, the higher the relative strength. The lower the bar, the lower the relative strength. That's what it means. It is also labelled.

Quote
It tells me that Kerry won in the cities, to which I reply, "Duh."

If that's all the map reveals, I guess the Washington Post could have just printed the sentence "KERRY WON IN CITIES" instead of creating that map? Perhaps you should e-mail the editors to enlighten them about their mistake for future elections?


Wrong again.  If I look at Phila for example, I can see that had about 500,000 votes.  It's hard for me to know how many Bush had.  I don't 700,000 votes case, or 1,400,000 votes cast.   I really provides very little information that is useful.

Your sentences are not making any sense. I can barely make out what you're trying to say. But I'm guessing that you're trying to say it would be helpful to know how many votes Bush had in Philadelphia, for example, given the map shows Kerry won it by 500,000.

Let me ask you this: Does it change the popular vote balance in the state if Bush won 200,000 and Kerry won 700,000 or if Bush won 2,200,000 and Kerry won 2,700,000?

In both instances, Philadelphia contributes 500,000 to Kerry's margin. The results in all other counties are equal. The person who wins a positive margin wins the state. Hence, in both cases, Philadelphia county has the same impact, and it makes no difference.
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« Reply #28 on: November 07, 2004, 11:50:20 pm »
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Your sentences are not making any sense. I can barely make out what you're trying to say. But I'm guessing that you're trying to say it would be helpful to know how many votes Bush had in Philadelphia, for example, given the map shows Kerry won it by 500,000.

Let me ask you this: Does it change the popular vote balance in the state if Bush won 200,000 and Kerry won 700,000 or if Bush won 2,200,000 and Kerry won 2,700,000?

In both instances, Philadelphia contributes 500,000 to Kerry's margin. The results in all other counties are equal. The person who wins a positive margin wins the state. Hence, in both cases, Philadelphia county has the same impact, and it makes no difference.

Sorry, I'm capable of thinking faster than I can type.  :-)

It's the intracounty comparison.  The map would be useful if it would show the relative amount of the vote in each county.  For example, knowing that Kerry had about 500,000 votes in Phila is pretty meaningless unless I know how many votes Bush had there as well.  If he had 80,000 votes, that's one thing.  If he had 200,000 votes, it would mean something else entirely.
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« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2004, 02:43:13 am »
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Your sentences are not making any sense. I can barely make out what you're trying to say. But I'm guessing that you're trying to say it would be helpful to know how many votes Bush had in Philadelphia, for example, given the map shows Kerry won it by 500,000.

Let me ask you this: Does it change the popular vote balance in the state if Bush won 200,000 and Kerry won 700,000 or if Bush won 2,200,000 and Kerry won 2,700,000?

In both instances, Philadelphia contributes 500,000 to Kerry's margin. The results in all other counties are equal. The person who wins a positive margin wins the state. Hence, in both cases, Philadelphia county has the same impact, and it makes no difference.

Sorry, I'm capable of thinking faster than I can type.  :-)

It's the intracounty comparison.  The map would be useful if it would show the relative amount of the vote in each county.  For example, knowing that Kerry had about 500,000 votes in Phila is pretty meaningless unless I know how many votes Bush had there as well.  If he had 80,000 votes, that's one thing.  If he had 200,000 votes, it would mean something else entirely.

Well first thing, you don't know how many votes Kerry had in Phila. You know how many more votes Kerry had than Bush. I think that addresses your entire complaint. Thanks.
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« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2004, 07:42:06 am »
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No...
The whole point is, at least if I'm getting it correctly, what he'd like (and he's right) is two maps showing the Dem and Rep vote totals in each county, rather than the margin.
That way, you could actually see how many votes the candidates got there - and you could compare the differences much better.
He said at one point "with this map, you couldn't guess San Diego exists" (the same would go for, say, Indianapolis). This is because there wasn't such a large vote margin, given that these large counties ended up being close. They could, theoretically, just as well be thinly populated, rural counties with vast percentage majorities.
On maps showing actual votes, there'd be large Dem and Rep piles in these counties, that, unlike in Manhattan or Cook county, would have roughly the same height.
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« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2004, 10:57:33 am »
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Well first thing, you don't know how many votes Kerry had in Phila. You know how many more votes Kerry had than Bush. I think that addresses your entire complaint. Thanks.

Wrong again.  The map shows how many votes Kerry had, not his percentage or even the number of votes over Kerry had over Bush.  The map just shows raw votes, which does tell me much more than cities have a lot of voters and Kerry voters tend to live in cities.  It is not a particularly useful map.
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« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2004, 11:05:26 am »
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Well first thing, you don't know how many votes Kerry had in Phila. You know how many more votes Kerry had than Bush. I think that addresses your entire complaint. Thanks.

Wrong again.  The map shows how many votes Kerry had, not his percentage or even the number of votes over Kerry had over Bush.  The map just shows raw votes, which does tell me much more than cities have a lot of voters and Kerry voters tend to live in cities.  It is not a particularly useful map.
No - it doesn show the number of votes Kerry had over Bush (the margin). Otherwise you would be able to notice there's a big city called San Diego.
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« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2004, 11:08:22 am »
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Yeah, there are roughly 2.5 million voters in Los Angeles County; Kerry won by the 700,000 displayed.
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« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2004, 11:38:58 am »
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It does show the the difference in areas where Kerry won.  I does not show clearly enough the difference between Bush and Kerry. 

Using PA for an example, it shows 392,000 more votes for Kerry in Phila than Bush received.  It doesn't show how how many more votes for Bush there were in the "T" region of PA (this excludes southwestern PA and the suburban Phila counties).  If that number is less than 392,000, then the map is good.  Bush, however, did get more than 392,000 from that region.

This show that Kerry had support in many large cities; that is hardly news.  What is important in PA, for example, is that Kerry won the Republican counties bordering Phila.  The map doesn't show that too well.
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« Reply #35 on: November 08, 2004, 12:27:52 pm »
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It does show the the difference in areas where Kerry won.  I does not show clearly enough the difference between Bush and Kerry. 

Using PA for an example, it shows 392,000 more votes for Kerry in Phila than Bush received.  It doesn't show how how many more votes for Bush there were in the "T" region of PA (this excludes southwestern PA and the suburban Phila counties).  If that number is less than 392,000, then the map is good.  Bush, however, did get more than 392,000 from that region.

This show that Kerry had support in many large cities; that is hardly news.  What is important in PA, for example, is that Kerry won the Republican counties bordering Phila.  The map doesn't show that too well.
I kinda agree with J.J.  Having said that it is WAY better than those red and blue maps by county which show EVEN less information.  I guess that maps are a poor way to look at an election.  Tables and charts etc. do a better job.
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« Reply #36 on: November 08, 2004, 12:32:27 pm »
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a 3-D graphic is best for this sort of thing.
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« Reply #37 on: November 08, 2004, 12:43:33 pm »
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a 3-D graphic is best for this sort of thing.

Well, yes, if the maps would show the amount that that Kerry or Bush had (or that they lost by), it would be a much more useful map.  This one doesn't.
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« Reply #38 on: November 08, 2004, 12:51:29 pm »
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No...
The whole point is, at least if I'm getting it correctly,

Well, he's also made many confusing statements, such as-

1- the map provides no useful information
2- he cant tell where one candidate lost
3- two candidates may have won the same place simultaneously

Quote
what he'd like (and he's right) is two maps showing the Dem and Rep vote totals in each county, rather than the margin.
That way, you could actually see how many votes the candidates got there - and you could compare the differences much better.
He said at one point "with this map, you couldn't guess San Diego exists" (the same would go for, say, Indianapolis). This is because there wasn't such a large vote margin, given that these large counties ended up being close. They could, theoretically, just as well be thinly populated, rural counties with vast percentage majorities.
On maps showing actual votes, there'd be large Dem and Rep piles in these counties, that, unlike in Manhattan or Cook county, would have roughly the same height.

That's what I thought he was saying, which I discussed, but his last post, just before the one I replied to which you then replied to, suggest that he's saying there's a difference between Bush having 80,000 and 200,000 given that Kerry has 500,000. What you're saying is that there's a difference between Bush having 80,000 and 200,000 given that Kerry has a margin of x amount.

Regarding the difference between big margins in small counties and small margins in big counties, it really makes no difference for the candidate. What matters is how many more votes they got than the other candidate in a particulate place. It doesn't matter very much if Kerry got 1,000,000 votes in Miami-Dade if Bush got 950,000 votes. It's the same as if he got 100,000 in a smaller county if Bush only got 50,000. In terms of electoral strategy, population matters only in terms of the fact that you need smaller percentage wins in order to get bigger margins. In anthropolog or sociology, populations would be important as an end to themselves, but in political elections, it is only vote margins that matter in the end, since margins are the same thing as majorities. To show that information on a map would be redundant and force the viewer to estimate in his or her own mind the differences. It would just cause too much clutter and not be dramatic enough. That's why I think they chose it this format and not the other format.
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« Reply #39 on: November 08, 2004, 12:54:02 pm »
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Well, yes, if the maps would show the amount that that Kerry or Bush had (or that they lost by), it would be a much more useful map.  This one doesn't.
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Wrong again.  The map shows how many votes Kerry had, not his percentage or even the number of votes over Kerry had over Bush.  The map just shows raw votes, which does tell me much more than cities have a lot of voters and Kerry voters tend to live in cities.  It is not a particularly useful map.

It does show these things. It does NOT show absolute vote numbers.
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« Reply #40 on: November 08, 2004, 01:08:26 pm »
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Well, yes, if the maps would show the amount that that Kerry or Bush had (or that they lost by), it would be a much more useful map.  This one doesn't.
Quote

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Wrong again.  The map shows how many votes Kerry had, not his percentage or even the number of votes over Kerry had over Bush.  The map just shows raw votes, which does tell me much more than cities have a lot of voters and Kerry voters tend to live in cities.  It is not a particularly useful map.

It does show these things. It does NOT show absolute vote numbers.

It does show the Kerry plurality, i.e. how many votes Kerry had over Bush; I went back and looked.  It doesn't however show the amount Kerry lost by on the same map.  It's not redundent; it determines who wins the election.

Knowing that Kerry had a 392,000 plurality in Phila tells me only two things.  One, there are at least 392,000 voters in Phila.  Two, Kerry is relatively more popular in Phila.  We don't know how relatively popular Kerry is in Phila, how relatively popular he is in the rest of the state, and how many votes there are in the rest of the state.

In fact, the Democrats were talking about a 400 K vote plurality from Phila before the election, to secure the state; they were just short of that.  Just saying that Kerry had X votes over Bush doesn't really tell you very much.
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« Reply #41 on: November 08, 2004, 10:54:37 pm »
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Well, yes, if the maps would show the amount that that Kerry or Bush had (or that they lost by), it would be a much more useful map.  This one doesn't.
Quote

Quote
Wrong again.  The map shows how many votes Kerry had, not his percentage or even the number of votes over Kerry had over Bush.  The map just shows raw votes, which does tell me much more than cities have a lot of voters and Kerry voters tend to live in cities.  It is not a particularly useful map.

It does show these things. It does NOT show absolute vote numbers.

It does show the Kerry plurality, i.e. how many votes Kerry had over Bush; I went back and looked.  It doesn't however show the amount Kerry lost by on the same map.

But that's WHY there are two maps.

Quote
Knowing that Kerry had a 392,000 plurality in Phila tells me only two things.  One, there are at least 392,000 voters in Phila.  Two, Kerry is relatively more popular in Phila.  We don't know how relatively popular Kerry is in Phila, how relatively popular he is in the rest of the state, and how many votes there are in the rest of the state.

No...

Quote
In fact, the Democrats were talking about a 400 K vote plurality from Phila before the election, to secure the state; they were just short of that.  Just saying that Kerry had X votes over Bush doesn't really tell you very much.

Then what does, pray?
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« Reply #42 on: November 08, 2004, 11:06:06 pm »
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But that's WHY there are two maps.


No...



Then what does, pray?

It is hard to match up the two maps.  If all the information was on one map, it would be useful.

Yes.  Looking at Kerry map of PA, I cannot tell how much he lost Berks county, for example.  May just a little, or maybe enough to take a big bite out of his totals in Phila.

What does is how well Kerry ran in a lot of those red counties; you cannot tell that from the Kerry map.  Sorry, but it just isn't clear enough.

This map tells you that Kepy tended to run up large vote totals in small areas, cities.  I kinda suspected that.
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« Reply #43 on: November 08, 2004, 11:20:40 pm »
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It is hard to match up the two maps.  If all the information was on one map, it would be useful.

Yes.  Looking at Kerry map of PA, I cannot tell how much he lost Berks county, for example.  May just a little, or maybe enough to take a big bite out of his totals in Phila.

What does is how well Kerry ran in a lot of those red counties; you cannot tell that from the Kerry map.  Sorry, but it just isn't clear enough.

This map tells you that Kepy tended to run up large vote totals in small areas, cities.  I kinda suspected that.

Once again, populations are just a means to an ends. Having a big margin in a small county or a small margin in a big county if the margins are the same in absolute numbers comes out the same. A campaign strategist would be indifferent between the two, all other things equal. The goal isn't to see which areas have more people living in them but which areas are relatively more Republican or Democratic.

As for the rest... it just involves looking at both maps. If that's too hard, I don't know what else to say.
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« Reply #44 on: November 08, 2004, 11:23:05 pm »
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Plus, including more data would clutter it too much and dilute its impact with information that people already know; that there are big cities where Chicago, NY, etc. etc. are. It's better to get the message across in the clearest and most simple way. Again, if we were studying population, it would be a different story, but we aren't.
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« Reply #45 on: November 09, 2004, 12:06:29 am »
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It is hard to match up the two maps.  If all the information was on one map, it would be useful.

Yes.  Looking at Kerry map of PA, I cannot tell how much he lost Berks county, for example.  May just a little, or maybe enough to take a big bite out of his totals in Phila.

What does is how well Kerry ran in a lot of those red counties; you cannot tell that from the Kerry map.  Sorry, but it just isn't clear enough.

This map tells you that Kepy tended to run up large vote totals in small areas, cities.  I kinda suspected that.

Once again, populations are just a means to an ends. Having a big margin in a small county or a small margin in a big county if the margins are the same in absolute numbers comes out the same. A campaign strategist would be indifferent between the two, all other things equal. The goal isn't to see which areas have more people living in them but which areas are relatively more Republican or Democratic.

As for the rest... it just involves looking at both maps. If that's too hard, I don't know what else to say.

A campaign strategists, on a statewide level, is going to look at the balance of votes.  Knowing that the candidate of your party either won or lost a county by 392,000 isn't going to tell you too much unless you can tell it the opposition party candidate won or lost the other regions in that state by more or less than 392,000 votes.  Running up a big total in one or two parts of a state isn't going to determine if that state goes to your candidate or not.  You need to know if there are enough votes in the rest of the state for the opposition candidate to counteract those votes.

Cities (excepting Washington, DC) do not have electoral votes.  I don't know how much clearer it can be. 
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« Reply #46 on: November 09, 2004, 12:15:01 am »
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I won't speak about stragegists in PA, but in IL, the kind of data on the linked maps are exactly what we use. The focus is almost entirely on the excess that Republicans can run up in the Collar counties and Downstate, to counteract the excess of Democratic votes from Cook. As the returns come in after the election, it's the excess margin in each county, not the total votes we focus on. In the end if our excess exceeds their excess we win, if not we lose.
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« Reply #47 on: November 09, 2004, 12:29:32 am »
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I won't speak about stragegists in PA, but in IL, the kind of data on the linked maps are exactly what we use. The focus is almost entirely on the excess that Republicans can run up in the Collar counties and Downstate, to counteract the excess of Democratic votes from Cook. As the returns come in after the election, it's the excess margin in each county, not the total votes we focus on. In the end if our excess exceeds their excess we win, if not we lose.

The problem is that map doesn't show that.  Looking at one map, I can see Kerry's total in Phila (and Allegheny Co), but I can't readily see how many votes are out there in Blair Co. for Bush, for example.
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"Wa sala, wa lala."

(Zulu for, "You snooze, you lose.")
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