Answer to Map #17

Click here for a full-size version of this week’s map.

Back to this week’s map and hints.

Answer: This week’s dot map depicts the locations of rallies of the Donald Trump presidential campaign throughout the year 2016. Each of the 312 slides of this animated map represents a single day, beginning with January 1 and ending with November 7, the day before the election. Each red dot represents a single rally; one some days, Trump campaigned in multiple places. The data for this map comes from Wikipedia’s “List of rallies for the Donald Trump presidential campaign.”

In the early sections of this map, there are many dots in states that hold early primaries and caucuses. These include, in succession, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. The map also makes clear a few other primary states that were hotly contested, especially Wisconsin (which Trump lost to Ted Cruz). Toward the end of this map, the focus shifts to the most important swing states that decided the election. Florida, a crucial swing state with 29 electoral votes, was the state that hosted the most Trump rallies (30 in total). On the final day of the campaign, Trump campaigned in five different states: Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Florida. The following day, he carried four of those five states.

It is possible to derive a few bits of insight about the 2016 presidential election from this map. First, note that Trump campaigned fairly often in Michigan (including four times in the last ten days of the campaign), whereas the Clinton campaign did not campaign actively in the state. You can also see on this map that Trump conspicuously campaigned in Minnesota two days before the election; Minnesota was a state that Clinton carried by a much smaller margin than most pundits predicted.

It is also interesting to pay attention to the fact that Trump campaigned from time to time in states that were not competitive. For example, he held a rally in Everett, Washington (a state he lost by 16.2%), on August 30 and in Jackson, Mississippi (a state he won by 18.5%), on August 24. While Trump did focus exclusively on swing states after that point, these rallies demonstrate his strategy of building enthusiasm among his supporters across the country.

Most people who submitted solutions to this week’s map were able to figure out that the map had something to do with the 2016 presidential election. We have given half credit to everybody who guessed that this was a map of campaign stops of both candidates or who failed to specify that these were rallies held by Donald Trump. If we had also mapped Hillary Clinton’s campaign stops, there would have been a lot more dots on this map!

Next map: Click here to try out our newest map question.