US Presidential Election 2016

The electorate of the United States of America has come to a decision about who is to become their next president. But not quite the whole electorate went to the polls: Turnout was at a long-term low with about 55% of voting age citizen having cast their ballot in the 2016 presidential election. Long gone are the days in which up to around 80% of the electorate went to the polls: This was last seen in the 19th century.
62,979,636 votes (46.1%) were cast for Donald Trump, while Hillary Clinton received 65,844,610 votes (48.2%). Other candidates put together reached 7,804,213 votes (5.7%). The following cartogram shows the distribution of votes for the two main candidates. Shown in diverging colours is each respective candidate who received the largest share of votes in each county. The cartogram itself shows an equal-population projection (gridded population cartogram) where each grid cell in the map is resized according to the total number of people living there. The main cartogram is accompanied by a second cartogram showing the distribution of votes that went to neither of the two candidates, and a ‘conventional’ reference map that also shows the states of Alaska and Hawaii:

Gridded Population Cartogram of the US Presidential Election 2016
(click for larger and labelled version)

The population-centric perspective of this map shows that Trump’s success has largely been in the more rural areas, while Clinton won more of the votes in the urban areas that stand out in the cartogram. An analysis by the Economist showed that “80% of voters who have over one square mile (2.6 square km) of land to enjoy to themselves backed Mr Trump.” As also reflected in the geographic voting patterns in the cartogram, the more densely populated areas become (shown as the larger grid cells which are proportional to their total population), the more likely was Clinton’s success.
However, despite having received more votes from the electorate, Clinton is not the winner of this election. Since the president is not directly elected, but by an electoral college of electors that the voters technically vote for, the presidential election is an indirect one and the outcome of the popular vote does not always reflect the outcome of the election. In the electoral college Hillary Clinton received 228 electoral votes, while Donald Trump secured 290 of the electoral votes. This means that Donald Trump will become the next president of the USA, officially taking over office from Barack Obama on January 20, 2017.

Note: This post has been updated with the final results using the Popular Vote Tracker and the New York Times in January 2017.

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