Posts Tagged ‘president’

Vote! Map of Newspaper Endorsements in the 2008 US Presidential Election (InfoChimps)

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

[Editor's note: This interactive map and blog post from InfoChimps shows how most newspapers across the US have endorsed Obama for president over McCain. The accompanying blog post discusses how notions of "red" and "blue" states has problems and might better be conceptualized as urban & rural.

Republished from InfoChimps where they have full table listing of each newspaper, their endorcement, and circulation stats. Thanks Lynda!]

View interactive version at InfoChimps!

Screenshots: map – big · med · sm | bar graph

See also: our «Red/Blue split vs. Rural/Urban split» graph

Apart from the unsurprising evidence that (choose one: [[Obama is the overwhelming choice]] -OR- [[there is overwhelming liberal media bias]]), I’m struck by the mismatch between papers’ endorsements and their “Red State” vs “Blue State” alignment.

  • I think the amount of red in the blue states is a market effect. If you’re the Boston Herald, there’s no percentage in agreeing with the Boston Globe; similarly The Daily News vs New York Post, SF Examiner vs SF Chronicle &c. (One reason the Tribune endorsement, even accounting for hometown bias, is so striking.) I don’t mean that one or the other alignment is wrong, or chosen cynically — simply that in a market supporting multiple papers, readers and journalists are efficiently sorted into two separate camps.
  • The amount of blue in the red states highlights how foolishly incomplete the “Red State/Blue State” model is for anything but electoral college returns. The largest part of the Red/Blue split is Rural/Urban. Consider the electoral cartogram for the last election. Almost every city is blue, even in the south and mountain, while almost all rural areal is red, even in California and Massachusetts. The urban exceptions on the cartogram — chiefly Dallas, Houston and Boise — stand noticeably alone on the endorsement map as having red unpaired with blue. (in this election even the Houston Chronicle is endorsing Obama, but they are quite traditionally Republican.)

This seems to speak of why so many on the right feel there’s a MSM bias. Roughly 50% of the country lives in a top-50 metro area (metros of over a million people: like Salt Lake City or Raleigh, NC and on up), 50% live outside (in rural areas, or in cities like Fresno, CA and Allentown/Bethlehem, PA or smaller). But our major newspapers are located almost exclusively in urban areas.

Thus, surprisingly, the major right-leaning papers are located in parts of the country we consider highly leftish: the largest urban areas are both «the most liberal» and «the most likely to support a sizeable conservative target audience».

The Ad Wars (NY Times)

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

[Editor's note: Graduated circles are automatically sized in Flash interactive from The New York Times. I believe the circle locations are auto plotted, too, but already transformed to projected XY coordinates, not from Lat-Longs. I like the National and Cable graduated symbols in the Gulf of Mexico.]

About $300 million has been spent from April 3 to Oct. 13, 2008 to broadcast over 200 ads, according to statistics compiled by Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political advertising expenditures.

View original interactive version at NYTimes.com . . .

Source: Campaign Media Analysis Group, a division of TNS Media Intelligence

And Now, a Word on the Convention Sponsors (Kelso)

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

[Editor's note: Below is the interactive I just published in the Washington Post examining the sponsors of this week's Democratic and next week's Republican conventions. Does money influence politics? Use this tool to explore further. Features thematic map with proportional circles showing number of contributions and dollar value of contributions by state and a data table listing of those companies and if they tend to give more to Democrats or Republicans. Reads data in from XML file and programatically draws the proportional circles. Republished from the Washington Post.]

Corporations, unions and wealthy donors are allowed to pour unlimited cash into the host committees that finance presidential conventions in exchange for goodies such as private receptions with legislators and VIP access to special events. Most of the corporate sponsors revealed so far for Denver and St. Paul (the host committees do not have to disclose donors or how much they raise until 60 days after the convention) are veterans of Washington’s money-for-influence game.

Use the interactive below to see how they have contributed more than $180 million to federal campaigns since 2005.

SOURCES: Campaign Finance Institute, Center for Responsive Politics

CREDIT: Interactive by Nathaniel Vaughn Kelso and Karen Yourish – The Washington Post. – August 27, 2008

Who Are You Calling Old? (WSJ)

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

[Editor's note: Fabulous charting of notable past presidents and their age entering office, age at death, and time in office. Includes Teddy Roosevelt, Kennedy, Clinton, Buchanan, Harrison, Reagan, and potential Obama and McCain. Reprinted from the Wall Street Journal. View full resolution version.]

 

Labels Change as Americans Live Longer, But Age Still Plays a Role in Election

By JUNE KRONHOLZ
August 26, 2008; Page A15

In 1996, Bob Dole, the Republican Party’s presidential nominee, battled criticism that, at 73 years old, he was too old to be president. Now 85, Mr. Dole is working “pretty much every day” at a Washington law firm, says the firm’s spokesman.

Age is certain to be an issue in this election, too. Republican Sen. John McCain, who turns 72 this week, would be the oldest man elected president should he win. Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, at 47, would be the fourth-youngest.

But in a country that is rapidly aging while staying healthy longer, what does old age mean, and how much should it matter?

The average U.S. life expectancy is now age 78, up 30 years since 1900 and up 10 years since 1950, according to the Census Bureau. Geriatricians now talk of those younger than 80 as the “young old,” and of those younger than 65 as the “near old.

U.S. businesses still seem wary of older people. The Corporate Library, a business-research firm, says that seven of the largest 500 public companies, including News Corp. — owner of Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal — have chief executives who are 72 or older. Some corporate recruiters warn about the memories, energy levels and technological savvy of older executives.

By that standard, businessman Warren Buffet, one-quarter of U.S. senators and four Supreme Court justices are over the over-72 hill.

In corporate America, “there’s a code word — how much ‘runway’ does a guy have” left in his career, said Hal Reiter, chairman of Herbert Mines Associates, which recruits executives for the retail industry. An executive in his 60s probably has five to seven years left on his runway, Mr. Reiter said.

Some who study aging say such fears are misplaced. A 45-year-old and a 75-year-old “absolutely” have the same mental capacity, and energy is a function of health rather than aging, said Neil Resnick, chief of geriatric medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

“Aging has such a small impact on how we function that it is of minimal importance” compared with experience, personality and the advisers a president or chief executive surrounds himself with, Dr. Resnick added.

Geriatricians say most people begin losing organ function — which means they start aging — somewhere between 18 and 30. After that, the heart, kidneys and other organs lose about 1% of their function each year. The world record for a 75-year-old marathon runner is about 50% longer than the world record for a runner who is 50 years younger.

But organs have from four to six times more capacity than most people need. That excess capacity is why we can run marathons or endure other extraordinary mental or physical challenges.

Brain function declines at the same rate as other organs, and especially affects how fast older people can retrieve information — the explanation for that maddening “senior moment.”

Our genes influence how much and how fast we decline: They account for about 30% of longevity and perhaps half of age-related changes in the brain, said John Rowe, a physician and former Aetna Inc. chairman who now heads a MacArthur Foundation research program on aging.

But life experience and accumulated wisdom can help offset normal brain decline and compensate for slowed retrieval time. “The great benefit of aging is ‘been there, done that and learned from it,’ ” said David Reuben, head of geriatric medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles. Mathematicians do their best work in their 20s; orchestra conductors and diplomats peak in their 60s or 70s, he added.

Continue reading at Wall Street Journal . . .

Shaky Economy Challenges Ambitious Obama Agenda (WSJ)

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

 

[Editor's note: Glorified timeline with head shots and key issues and economic conditions facing the past three democratic presidents near the beginning of their terms, and the conditions Sen. Obama would face if elected. Republished from the Wall Street Journal. View full size graphic.]

Stocks and Housing Falter as Democrats’ Convention Opens

By BOB DAVIS and T.W. FARNAM
August 26, 2008; Page A1

Democrats convened in Denver on Monday with the economy’s woes muscling to the top of political concerns, as reflected in further drops in stocks and housing prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 241.81 points, or 2.1%, to 11386.25, amid continuing worry over the economic and credit problems. Inventories of unsold homes rose to a record, while prices continued to slip, threatening to delay the housing market’s recovery.

Sen. Barack Obama, whom the party will nominate for president this week, addressed one of the key issues, the parlous state of the government-sponsored buyers of mortgages. “I don’t think we can allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to collapse,” he said at a town-hall meeting in Davenport, Iowa, adding that their shareholders “shouldn’t be protected.”

Against this backdrop, Sen. Obama is proposing to use the government to remake economic policies in a way that hasn’t been seen in Washington in decades.

The last two Democratic presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, were hamstrung by rising deficits, feuds with Democrats in Congress and antigovernment sentiment in Washington. Sen. Obama’s advisers argue that he would be largely free from those constraints, easing the way for him to put in place big government programs, tax increases on the wealthy and trade restraints.

An Obama victory would be nearly certain to usher in a larger Democratic majority, which could give his proposals smoother sailing through Congress. If the economy is faltering if and when he takes office — as most economists and policy experts predict it will be — Mr. Obama would push for a stimulus plan with a price tag of $115 billion, his aides say. The plan would include $1,000 rebates for moderate-income and middle-class families, aid to state and local governments and heavy spending on roads, ports and levees and other infrastructure to create jobs.

Sen. Obama, in campaign appearances and discussions with staff, has said that he would start his term in office with three big economic priorities, apart from a possible stimulus plan. One would be a government health-care plan to cover millions without insurance. Another would be a system of tradable pollution permits to reduce emissions and bankroll alternative-energy projects. He’d also push the first increases in income-tax rates since 1993 and in capital-gains taxes since 1986.

In total, his top priorities would cost hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and some of them might require a stiff increase in regulation.

Rice University presidential historian Douglas Brinkley compares Sen. Obama’s approach on economic issues to the last Democrat to occupy the White House before Mr. Carter: Lyndon Johnson. But, he says, “it would be a Great Society with a small ‘g’ and a small ‘s’” because Sen. Obama isn’t planning anything as sweeping as the creation of Medicare, Medicaid and antipoverty agencies.

No matter what he plans, he might confront circumstances that divert him from his agenda, whether foreign threats from Iraq, Iran or Russia or a recession. Any such contingencies could consume his attention and divert many billions of dollars he would rather use otherwise.

Still, many presidents have pushed through their priorities despite major setbacks. President George W. Bush drove through two rounds of tax cuts while pursuing an unanticipated global war on terror. Ronald Reagan won tax cuts and deregulation despite years of Soviet challenges.

Continued at the Wall Street Journal . . .

Where They Won (NY Times)

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

The Times featured this visual confection on their home page momentarily in the final throws of the primary last week. The map shows the 50 states and their 3,000+ counties in a small time series animation with a DNA sequence timeline above with darker bar indicating primary and/or caucus dates. The number of delegates for Obama and Clinton tallies automatically and the time slider can be scrubbed back and forth.

Primary Jam — Wall Street Journal Graphic

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

With Iowa voting later this week, the 2008 presidential primary election season will be open and in full swing (really, not just taunting like the last 102 weeks). Conventional wisdom says the first states can make or break a candidate’s chances of actually landing their party’s nomination to the White House’s office.

This Wall Street Journal graphic diagrams how certain caucuses have moved forward (or fallen behind) on the calendar as states jockey to have the most impact on the nominating process. States are represented by circles which are graduated in size on the timelines to represent that state’s electoral votes and by an alphabetical listing (by two digit postal code) at top. Both the graduated circles and the postal code buttons are interactive revealing more information on mouseOver. Restrained animation is provided when navigating the graphic as some circles change color or size up to full volume. A link back to the article that originally spawned the graphic is provided (well, section front).

Nitpicks: the mouseOver effects on the graduated circles should have been above or below the circle, not left or right. This would allow the next few caucuses to be viewed in sequence. The present method obscures this information. Fonts size is small on my screen, almost to the point of illegibility. I would have liked to see the state names spelled out fully in the mouseOver boxes. The postal code abbreviations used in the keyboard buttons above the graphic (the index) are effective, but the full names should be provided here too. The representation of Super Tuesday is effective but the large circle shape is slightly deflated in 2000.

Primary Jam — Wall Street Journal Graphic