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Fundrace
November 10, 2003 5:20 PM   Subscribe

Fundrace. Innovative rankings and maps about presidential candidates. The maps are especially cool.
posted by monju_bosatsu (14 comments total)

 
[interesting]
posted by rudyfink at 5:38 PM on November 10, 2003


Very cool. There are already four more views I want, and I haven't even tried to think about it. (Single state view, broken down by county, locality, and zip; and in the tables I want median as well as average donation size.)
posted by alms at 6:04 PM on November 10, 2003


I would like to see amount /population density
posted by srboisvert at 6:10 PM on November 10, 2003


Heh. Check out Sharpton's.
posted by ColdChef at 6:49 PM on November 10, 2003


This is why I read metafilter. Thanks for the great link.
posted by EmoChild at 8:02 PM on November 10, 2003


That mostly red Dem-vs-Rep map is the scariest thing I've seen in I don't know how long.
posted by goethean at 8:07 PM on November 10, 2003


this is a great link, goethean i was surprised there was that much blue in the middle of the country...but then again i'm a coaster.
posted by NGnerd at 8:09 PM on November 10, 2003


srboisvert is exactly right.

A choropleth map using non-standardized data is almost always a bad idea.

That said... it's a wonderful idea that I would like them to develop.
posted by cadastral at 8:10 PM on November 10, 2003


The big problem with this is that the FEC only requires the candidates to report donors who give more than $200. This ignores the huge number of people who only give small contributions. For instance, the Dean campaign is fond of saying that their average contribution is around $80. These statistics are interesting, but mostly meaningless without including small-dollar donors.
posted by stopgap at 10:05 PM on November 10, 2003


That mostly red Dem-vs-Rep map is the scariest thing I've seen in I don't know how long.

Mapping voting strength using geographical projection is bound to distort things. Recall that the 2000 popular vote was as close to 50/50 as the USA has ever come in a Presidential election. Among other things, Republican strength is heavier in rural areas, while Democratic strength is heavier in urban areas; the former take up more land area, the latter less. In short, a square may be the same size, but the red one represents 10,000 votes, while the blue one represents 1,000,000. My Electoral Vote Proportional Map shows the correct electoral strength of each state. (I've also seen maps that show the color value changing to reflect the voting strength. There's a lot of moody, indistinguishable purple in that map.) For example, Wisconsin looks fairly red-leaning on the various FundRace maps, but went for Gore.
posted by dhartung at 11:32 PM on November 10, 2003


An interesting introduction to choropleth maps.
posted by alms at 6:01 AM on November 11, 2003


Hi, one author of fundrace.org here, looking for help from y'all.

So the money maps have been (rightfully) criticized for being non-standardized choropleths. It seems the problem is that the money (coloring) is being mentally multiplied by area (in the sense that large areas on the map seem important) and disregarding population, correct? One suggestion was to divide by population density. I'm not sure i follow the logic behind that.

What seems to make more sense to me in terms of a unit analysis is to multiply by population density. this would result in : (dollars X people/area) mentally multiplied by area which yields peopleDollars which is what i think we want to see in the end.

feed me back on this. thanks.
posted by fruminator at 10:27 AM on November 11, 2003


my questions are of course motivated by being unable (at this point in time) to do population-sized maps like http://www.style.org/mappingvotes/ or the one posted by dhartung.
posted by fruminator at 10:59 AM on November 11, 2003


There seems to be a problem with the small contributor index view, as well. I was watching Jim Lehrer last night, and heard that Dean's avg. contribution overall was about $77. So I was surprised to see it listed at $540 after clicking on the 'small contribution' index. Unfortunately, it just links to the 'fat cat' detail view.

The reason the fundrace is interesting, though, is that it is exploring the connection between money and votes. It is, to my mind, ridiculous that a democracy should be run by whoever can gather the most money. The amount of faith put in the fundraising by the reporters backs up this very claim. I don't think that the cash contributions are neccesarily indicative of how the election is going to turn out, especially once health care (and Bush's failure to do even the smallest things for the little guy) really starts taking off as a central issue.

fruminator: One thing you might try is creating a simple pie chart for the unit comparison... Not quite as visually wow as what you've already built, but it might be able to tell another aspect of the story.

And give your idea for unit comparison a shot; it would bee interesting to see how it turns out.
posted by kaibutsu at 11:14 AM on November 11, 2003


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