Friday, December 1, 2017

A makeover of the visualization of voting similarities in the Senate

A few days ago I praised this graphic of voting similarities in the Senate.

Andrew Gelman saw it too and offered some intriguing suggestions. (please read them!) However, he didn't do a makeover himself. I decided to use his ideas and design a very quick sketch to see how an alternative graphic may look like. You can see the mockup below. A few warnings:

1. I used the same similarity scale as Gramener. I asked them for the data.
2. Take the ideological score with a grain of salt. I got it from here but I didn't verify whether it's trustworthy. McCain is on the right position according to his ideological score (X-scale.)
3. Around one quarter of Senators are not shown because of missing data.
4. I have no particular preference. I like either of version for different reasons.

1 comment:

  1. I am surprised that you have no preference between the two. I find the original quite silly.

    While it looks "neat", the primary feature is meaningless (and I spent far too long to trying to figure out what the position around the circle meant, to finally conclude that it didn't mean anything).

    I wouldn't have thought of using the ideological ranking, and I am on the fence on whether it matters here - I suppose it is good context. I would have plotted it more like a strip plot, jittered as needed.

    This would also allow displaying multiple representatives together much more easily, should that be useful.