Monthly Archives: February 2006

The Political Matrix

The Politcal Matrix is a mechanism to map and compare one’s political views in a two-dimensional space. Unlike the simple left/right (liberal/conservative) schema, the Political Matrix uses two axes, the right/left economic axis and the authoritarian/libertarian social axis. The two-dimensional map then places your result in one of four quadrants: authoritarian-right, authoritarian-left, libertarian-right, and libertarian-left (moderates would be points that fall close to the origin). Modeled after the Political Compass, and similar to the Libertarian diamond, the Atlas community has created and tested the new matrix to be a more detailed and accurate representation of one’s political philosophy. The Atlas community political matrix chart may be found here. Go ahead and take the test, add the results to your myatlas page and compare your philosophy with the community.

Happy President’s Day

Happy President’s Day! In honor of the past-serving presidents, there was a proposal put forth in 2004 by Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) that would place images of the Presidents on the obverse side of the $1 coins with the image of the Statue of Liberty on the reverse side. There would be four per year in order of service (not including those Presidents who are still alive).

The bill (H.R. 902) passed the House on April 27, 2005, passed the Senate in November of 2005, and was signed into law by President Bush on December 15, 2005. The US Mint will present the new 2007 $1 coin design candidates at a public meeting on February 28, 2006. Expect the new George Washington coin early next year. A new coin will enter circulation every three months depicting each successive President (and yes, Grover Cleveland will have two!) – (see the chronological list of Presidents).

New York Project – Status

The New York project (first discussed in this weblog entry) has made a lot of progress. The township maps and data are now complete for all counties for the general elections of 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004. The precinct data is now complete for all counties outside of the five New York City Boroughs for those four elections (New York City Borough precinct data is complete for 2000 and 2004). This was no small task as most counties required hand-entry of precinct data. In addition, the further complication of New York’s fusion system added an average of four more ballot lines per election. Overall this required a lot of number typing. For example, the counties of Erie, Monroe, and Nassau had a total of 2,897 precincts in 1992 (only to grow larger by 2004). With the exception of Monroe in 2004, all three of these counties required manual entry of the data between 1992 and 2004 from the canvass books (they are legal size documents about 3 cm thick). Total precincts for New York in 1992 are 9,764 (outside of NYC).

The New York township map for 1992 is partiularly interesting. Perot was very strong in Western New York, winning numerous towns in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie, Wyoming, and Niagara counties (Perot finished second in Wyoming and Cattaraugus counties and a very close third in Niagara County). Perot also had a strong showing in central New York in an area up the I-81 corridor from Binghamton through Northern Jefferson County, having won a number of towns in the region. Perot placed well-enough in this region such that in most towns, the winning candidate received less than 40% of the vote. Bush was strong through the the Adirondacks, perifieral Catskills, and the Genesee River Vally counties (Steuben , Allegany, Livingston, Ontario, Yates, Genesee, Orleans, Wayne). Clinton had strong support in New York City and the large upstate cities (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany), in the northern tier (St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties), Ithaca, and the central Catskills (Ulster and Sullivan Counties).

County-level township maps for all counties in these four years are now available on-line to members. Township data and precinct data is also available on-line to members. There are also detailed spreadsheets with boundary codes that include both unfused and fused data for the Presidential vote at the precinct, township, and county level. See the store page if for purchasing information on the spreadsheets.