# Obama v Romney - battleground graphics

I don't find the graphics that the TV shows use very useful in understanding the state of play during a US Presidential election, so I thought I'd create some more useful diagrams. Please comment on my blog post and tell me what you think.

All projections come from Five Thirty Eight.

## Margin bargraph

This is the most complex of the diagrams, but also potentially the most informative. Please take a moment to read the explanation below - it really should make more sense if you do :-)

• To make sense of any of this you must understand the Electoral College.
• Red states are states that went for McCain in 2008.
• Blue states are states that went for Obama in 2008.
• States in the band with a pale blue background at the top of the diagram have been called by the networks for Obama.
• States in the band with a pale red background at the bottom of the diagram have been called by the networks for Romney.
• States to the left of the line are projected to go for Obama.
• States to the right of the line are projected to go for Romney.
• The further left or right they extend, the further the projected margin of victory.
• The vertical direction is measured in electoral votes
• The thicker the bar for a state is, the more electoral votes it has.
• The numbers inbetween states near the finish line mark how far that boundary is from the finish line.
• The projected winner is the person who takes the state on the finish line. This is because, by taking that state and all the other states that they have more favourable margins in, they can win the election.
• Nebraska and Maine only give out some of their votes according to the statewide margin, and some according to the vote in each congressional district. Thus the diagram shows separate "states" for their congressional districts as well as for their statewide votes.