With the US Elections approaching in Fall 2020, you will be seeing a lot of election maps around offering predictions and using the usual US States format, like this one:
However, there are some issues with using the traditional map template for this kind of maps.
In the US Presidential Elections, it’s all about the 538 Electoral College votes. Each state is allocated a number of Electors equal to the number of its U.S. Senators (always 2) plus the number of its U.S. Representatives, which may change each decade according to the size of each State’s population as determined in the Census.
As a result, the traditional maps that show the geography of the country obscure the fact that some states may be smaller in size, but have a lot more population, which also means many more electoral votes.
This phenomenon has been well-known and documented:
One of the solutions to counter this issue is the cartogram map format, where the geometry or space of the map is distorted, sometimes extremely, in order to convey the information of an alternate variable.
Of course, the variable we want to account for in the US Elections case is the aforementioned 538 electoral votes.
So, without further ado, here is the new hexagonal cartogram US Elections map that is now available on MapChart:
In this map, every state is sized by its number of electoral votes assigned. It more or less distorts the geographical position and shape of each state, but you can still easily make sense of the map.
In all but two states, electoral votes are ‘winner-take-all’, meaning the candidate winning the popular vote normally receives all of that state’s votes. Maine and Nebraska have adapted the ‘congressional district method’, and their votes can be colored distinctly on the map (2-1-1 for ME and 2-1-1-1 for NE).
With this map you can effortlessly create a cartogram with predictions for past or the upcoming US Elections:
Furthermore, to help with the process, each time you color or remove the color of a state, the corresponding color box in the legend area gets updated with the current electoral votes sum:
This way it is easier to keep track of the electoral votes for each entity on the map, especially when you make prediction maps for the Election (a candidate needs 270 votes to win).
Ultimately, I hope that the new hexagonal cartogram map on MapChart with its features will prove helpful for users that love making election maps.