Sunday, November 26, 2017

Visualizing voting similarities in the Senate

Gramener, a data science firm based in India, has just published a neat visualization of voting similarities in the Senate. As the intro to the project itself says “When senator 'X' votes a 'Yea' or 'Nay' what are the chances that senator 'Y' would do the same?” Just a few thoughts:

1. I like how simple but rich this graphic is. You can first select one Senator through the drop-down menu, and then click on any circle to get the similarity with another Senator.

2. I wish someone will do something similar with the House of Representatives, if only to reveal that some Congressmen who claim to be “moderates” (like my district's Carlos Curbelo) are actually hardcore party hacks who vote with their tribe nearly 90% of the time.

3. Numerical summaries and alternative ways of visualizing the data could help a lot. I wish I could make comparisons between each senator and each party's average or see some rankings. I got the feeling, for instance, that, overall, Republicans tend to vote more similarly to each other than Democrats, but I couldn't verify that hunch.

Here are some highlights: