The devil is always in the detail

County by County US Presidential Election Results 2004 by Robert J. VanderbeiRobert J. Vanderbei has done a really nice piece of work to visualize the US election results county by county rather than state by state. Robert's map shows that America is not as geographically polarized in its support for Kerry or Bush as the state by state results (or indeed the media reports) would have us belive. There clearly are strong geographic preferences for Republican or Democratic politics but isn't not as black or white, or indeed red or blue, as appears at first. In order to understand the true picture you have to look closer to see sufficient detail. The county by country election results are available via the USA Today election results web site if you want to check or look up the results for an individual county.

Lilia Effimova has also spotted this map and has written a typically thoughtful piece on the dangers of binary thinking as a result of over generalization.

You can only see the picture clearly when you have sufficient detail
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