2016 Election Results on PolicyMap, Including New Turnout Data
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The results of the 2016 presidential election are now up on PolicyMap. This adds to the county-level results we have for the 2004, 2008, and 2012 elections. Also available are the county level results to the Senate elections, and the results of the congressional elections are coming soon (we’re currently dealing with some redistricting issues).
Often, the most interesting indicator is the one that shows the change from the last election to this one. Below is the change in percent of votes for the Republican candidate from 2012 (Romney) to 2016 (Trump); purple areas are an increase in the Republican share of the vote:
New this year is state-level turnout data from the U.S. Elections Project. Unlike our county-level turnout data (which is also updated), this new data calculates the turnout percent based on the voting eligible population, as opposed to the voting age population. Not all residents over age 16 can vote; non-citizens and, in some states, felons are not eligible to vote. So this data is more accurate, but only available at the state level. For county-level turnout data, you can continue to use our data from the U.S. Election Atlas and Census Population Estimates, which uses the voting-age population.
So that said…
There are a lot of strong opinions about the election. We’re ostensibly bipartisan at PolicyMap. We have users from both sides of the political aisle, and we’re glad, because we believe that everyone should use timely, accurate, and reliable data to make fact-based decisions about their communities and the nation at large.
Recently, though, there have been proposals to hamstring sources of high-quality data, like the Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the past few years, the Census and BLS (among other departments) have had to reduce their offerings due to budgetary constraints, and there have been proposals to cut them further.
Most alarming has been a proposal to make responses to the Census’s American Community Survey (ACS – our most-used data source) voluntary instead of required by law. We don’t have to imagine what happens when national census surveys become voluntary – it happened in Canada, where the data from voluntary responses is now considered useless.
Surveys show that the Census, which is mandated in the Constitution, and its products like the ACS, are incredibly popular among people of all political persuasions. The data is considered essential by community leaders for making local decisions. So we would encourage you, if you’re a user of PolicyMap and you like the data that’s available on PolicyMap, to contact your representatives in Congress and in the Senate, and let them know how vital government data is to you.