Trump resistance chart: cleaning up order, importance, weight, paneling
Feb 19, 2019
Vox featured the following chart when discussing the rise of resistance to President Trump within the GOP.
The chart is composed of mirrored bar charts. On the left side, with thicker pink bars that draw more attention, the design depicts the share of a particular GOP demographic segment that said they'd likely vote for a Trump challenger, according to a Morning Consult poll.
This is the primary metric of interest, and the entire chart is ordered by descending values from African Americans who are most likely (67%) to turn to a challenger to those who strongly support Trump and are the least likely (17%) to turn to someone else.
The right side shows the importance of each demographic, measured by the share of GOP. The relationship between importance and likelihood to defect from Trump is by and large negative but that fact takes a bit of effort to extract from this mirrored bar chart arrangement.
The subgroups are not complete. For example, the only ethnicity featured is African Americans. Age groups are somewhat more complete with under 18 being the only missing category.
The design makes it easy to pick off the most disaffected demographic segments (and the least, from the bottom) but these are disparate segments, possibly overlapping.
One challenge of this data is differentiating the two series of proportions. In this design, they use visual cues, like the height and width of the bars, colors, stacked vs not, data labels. Visual variety comes to the rescue.
Also note that the designer compensated for the lack of stacking on the left chart by printing data labels.
When reading this chart, I'm well aware that segments like urban residents, income more than $100K, at least college educated are overlapping, and it's hard to interpret the data the way it's been presented.
I wanted to place the different demographics into their natural groups, such as age, income, urbanicity, etc. Such a structure also surfaces demographic patterns, e.g. men are slightly more disaffected than women (not significant), people earning $100K+ are more unhappy than those earning $50K-.
Further, I'd like to make it easier to understand the importance factor - the share of GOP. Because the original form orders the demographics according to the left side, the proportions on the right side are jumbled.
Here is a draft of what I have in mind:
The widths of the line segments show the importance of each demographic segment. The longest line segments are toward the bottom of the chart (< 40% likely to vote for Trump challenger).
Your rework is much better but I wonder what it would look like if you use a common origin for the importance lines.
Posted by: Fabio Machado | Feb 21, 2019 at 09:10 AM
FM: This is a rare case where I anchored the lines in the middle. I agree that anchoring them, say, to the left would make more sense to some readers, and I tend to prefer that. In this case, it's like a bubble chart with just the diameter (but not really, since I can encode data linearly into the length rather than do a square root).
Posted by: Kaiser | Feb 21, 2019 at 09:58 AM