Data Visualization

The Data Behind the 2016 Election

The 2016 U.S. presidential election is almost upon us. Anticipation continues to grow and many have already cast their votes through early voting and absentee ballots. In the spirit of the election, we decided to put together a dashboard that looks at both U.S. and international attitudes towards Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump since January 2016. The dashboard blends data from various sources, including a wide variety of state poll results, the Pew Research Center, and the Federal Election Commission.

Let’s take a look at what the data tells us about how the candidates are regarded across the US and worldwide:

State Polling

The first tab showcases the results of state polls over the course of the year. Taken together the map and line graph show us poll results for each state over time. The map looks at the difference between how Clinton and Trump are polling in individual states. Blue states are leaning Democratic, red states are leaning Republican, and green states are considered toss-ups, such as North Carolina, Florida, Arizona, and Ohio. By clicking a state, the poll results below filter to show polling trends in that state since January (broken down between Democrat, Republican, and Independent).

Dashboard created by Kun Fang, Senior Software Engineer, MicroStrategy. See the dashboard on our Dashboard Gallery.

Global Perceptions

The next tab looks at data from the Pew Research Center on global perceptions of Clinton and Trump (The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan research organization that conducts surveys on social issues and demographics). On the map, color thresholds indicate the general confidence in each candidate overseas, and can be controlled using the candidate filter below. In general, the data from Pew Research indicates fairly high global support for Secretary Clinton, whereas Mr. Trump fails to score above 22% in any country polled.

Campaign Finance

The final two tabs focus on the campaign finances of each candidate and uses data from the Federal Election Commission. A quick look at this data tells us that Clinton holds a significant advantage in terms of campaign contributions, having received over $336M compared to Trump’s roughly $54M (these figures represent data that was pulled at the end of August, for updated information please visit the Federal Election Commission website). The fourth tab breaks down large contributions by donor employer. The network visualization identifies those entities whose employees have contributed to Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump’s campaigns respectively. While many employers only have employees making large donations supporting either Clinton or Trump, there are some that have supported both, including: Bank of America, Boeing, American Airlines, and Northrop Grumman.

Regardless of who wins, it will be interesting to see how the data gathered so far translates into votes on Election Day.

Want to conduct your own analysis on the election? Download MicroStrategy Desktop and start visualizing data today! Disclaimer: This dashboard uses public datasets to analyze candidate performance. It does not reflect the political views of MicroStrategy or our employees.

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