Data Analysis of the 2014 Mass. Gubernatorial Election

Coakley received a lot of votes from residents of Massachusetts’s major cities. This is evident in the maps I posted last week, and in the charts below. What may be surprising is how many votes Baker received in cities, including Boston: Baker received nearly 10,000 more votes in Boston than he did in 2010. If those had gone to Coakley instead, the spread between them would have been cut roughly in half.

How To Automate Map Making in R

In my last post, I displayed a series of maps from the 2014 Massachusetts midterm election. In all, I created 17 maps, all with fewer than 20 lines of code. Here’s how… The basic idea is to use a For Loop with ggmap to iterate through columns of a data frame. In my example, the code for which can be found here, I first read shapefiles from MassGIS into R, and then combine them with election data.

Maps of the 2014 Massachusetts Elections

Most of the maps I have seen so far color each city or town either red or blue based on the majority outcome. That works fine, for the most part, but I prefer to see the range of voting patterns. These heat maps go from light yellow to dark blue. The scale changes on each one in order to show the full spectrum. I managed to automate their creation in R.

The Political and Public Opinion of Same-Sex Marriage, by State

According to polling data, this is a current map of popular support for same-sex marriage: It is important to note that this map shows where people say they support same-sex marriage, but each state also contains a significant proportion of voters who are either indifferent or unsure. Compare that map to this one of political support in congress and the governor’s office: As you would expect, political support is correlated to public opinion, but not perfectly.