Analyze Data: Hillary, Trump, & The 2016 Presidential Elections
The 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections are a year away. The primaries are heating up. We thought we would take a look at the trends and numbers. We made and embedded the interactive graphs below with Plotly’s free web product and APIs. So can you. For users who want to securely share graphs and data within a team and make interactive dashboards, contact us about Plotly on-premise.
Electoral College Map
The Electoral College elects the new President. Voters in each U.S. state vote for a ticket for President and Vice-President. Then Electoral College voters from each state vote for candidates on behalf of their state. Except for Maine and Nebraska, the states use a winner-take-all approach. Below are the current number of electoral votes per state. The number of votes is tied to population. We can make this map with R and Python.
Electoral College By State
For an alternative view, we can make a plot that shows the number of votes per state.
Democratic Primary Voter Leanings
Before we vote for a President, each Party runs a primary to pick their candidate. The plot below shows the top three contenders in Democratic primary polls–that is, who do likely Democratic primary voters plan to vote for. Hillary Clinton holds a lead, with Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden coming in second and third. To see the numbers for the other candidates, toggle the traces on and off in the legend. Hover your mouse to see which poll each point comes from.
Republican Primary Voter Leanings
The plot below shows the top three contenders in Republican primary polls. Donald Trump has recently taken the lead, with Ben Carson and Jeb Bush coming in next.
Favorability & Familiarity
The plot below illustrates how quickly momentum can change. Gallup was not even polling yet for Donald Trump when this July 7–10 poll was administered. Trump now leads national Republican polls. The survey concluded that:
“Hillary Clinton is currently the best known and best liked of 16 potential 2016 presidential candidates tested…”
A more updated view of the Republican field shows how Trump stacks up.
Presidential Favorability Ratings
Much has been written about the recent increase in the number of voters who identify as Democrats. The figure on the left below shows the relationship between party identification the year before an election and votes for the Democratic candidate. As The Washington Post noted, “Party identification more than a year in advance of the election predicts nothing about how the election will ultimately turn out.” The right-hand graph below, also from the Post, plots the popular vote for a presidential election against the incumbent President’s approval rating. The relationship between presidential approval and election results is statistically significant. But we need more data.
Obama Approval Rating
Presidential approval is a useful number to watch. Robert Erikson and Christopher Wlezien argue that presidential approval ratings show what issues are important to Americans. Obama’s net rating is slightly negative, making the Republicans a narrow favorite to win the 2016 election.
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