2399: 2020 Election Map
- A larger version of this image can be found by clicking the image at xkcd.com - the comic's page can also be accessed by clicking on the comic number above.
This is a sequel to an earlier comic, 1939: 2016 Election Map. The United States elects its president not directly by popular vote but by an Electoral College composed of a number of electors, partially proportional to population, from each state. Presently, a "winner-take-all" system is used in most states: the winner of the popular vote in each state receives all of the electoral votes for that state. Though, strictly speaking, the electors are not required to cast their ballots according to this system, many states impose penalties on them if they don't. Technically, the popular vote in each state is to elect a slate of electors who in turn elect the President.
Many electoral results maps color the states a solid color, indicating which candidate won the electoral votes, but this may not be representative of the population size of the state or the number of voters. (The exceptions are the states of Maine and Nebraska, which award only 2 electoral votes to the statewide winner, and 1 to the winner of each congressional district. For example, while Biden won Maine statewide, he only got 3 out of its 4 electoral votes, as Trump got more votes in the 2nd district.)
Randall has also made some attempt to distribute the Cueball icons within a state in a manner similar to how the actual votes were distributed, but this is subject to even more difficulties than "while keeping national totals correct". For example, Michigan's Upper Peninsula has 3% of the Michigan's population, which isn't enough for a Cueball, so it is drawn empty. On the other hand, Western Massachusetts is drawn crowded because the entire area of Massachusetts is needed to fit enough Cueballs on the map. Similarly, Michigan should have had a 10th (or even 11th) red Cueball, and didn't have nearly enough "other" voters for a green Cueball, but the green Cueballs have to be allocated *somewhere*, and Michigan is big enough to be less unreasonable than Wyoming.
Other maps used to demonstrate that "corn doesn't vote, people vote" (or similar rebuttals, referring to non-voting 'open space') include maps distorting the otherwise recognisable geography to make areas strictly proportional to the populations (or registered voters, actual voters or majority gap) within them. As an example, Los Angeles County, alone, is more populous than each of the states except for the nine most populous (even if you deprived California of it, for the duration) - or all of the ten least populous (plus DC) added together. Alaska, the largest state but with one of the fewest inhabitants, could be split and yet both halves each still cover more land area than Texas (and potentially both Alaskas now ranked firmly at the bottom of the population table).
Another mapping solution used by commentators was to use coloured circles sized to represent the quantities of voters (or majorities) that do something very similar to Randall's map by showing vast areas with small and sparse splotches of hue and other areas packed tightly with the local 'flavour' of votes.
The title text compares different voter pools in terms of absolute size. Unexpected truths - e.g., "There are more Trump voters in California than Texas" - can be explained by differences in population size. California (which was won by Biden) has a larger population than Texas (which was won by Trump), which has a higher population than New York (won by Biden), and so on. For example, Trump received over 6 million votes in California (though Biden received 11 million votes in winning the state) compared to 5.9 million votes received by Trump in Texas.
Each comparison is in a different color.
The following table lists the number of 250,000-vote markers in the map by candidate and state, and compares this with the actual number of votes. Source
|State||Markers||Votes||Actual votes||Markers||Votes||Actual votes||Markers||Votes||Actual votes||Markers||Votes||Actual votes|
|District of Columbia (DC)||1||250,000||317,323||0||0||18,586||0||0||8,447||1||250,000||344,356|
|New Hampshire (NH)||2||500,000||424,937||1||250,000||365,660||0||0||13,236||3||750,000||790,597|
|New Jersey (NJ)||9||2,250,000||2,608,335||7||1,750,000||1,833,274||0||0||57,744||16||4,000,000||4,549,353|
|New Mexico (NM)||2||500,000||501,614||2||500,000||401,894||0||0||20,457||4||1,000,000||923,965|
|New York (NY)||20.5||5,125,000||5,230,985||13||3,250,000||3,244,798||0.5||125,000||119,043||34||8,500,000||8,594,826|
|North Carolina (NC)||11||2,750,000||2,684,292||11||2,750,000||2,758,775||0||0||81,737||22||5,500,000||5,524,804|
|North Dakota (ND)||0||0||114,902||1||250,000||235,595||0||0||11,322||1||250,000||361,819|
|Rhode Island (RI)||1||250,000||307,486||1||250,000||199,922||0||0||10,349||2||500,000||517,757|
|South Carolina (SC)||4||1,000,000||1,091,541||6||1,500,000||1,385,103||0||0||36,685||10||2,500,000||2,513,329|
|South Dakota (SD)||1||250,000||150,471||1||250,000||261,043||0||0||11,095||2||500,000||422,609|
|West Virginia (WV)||1||250,000||235,984||2||500,000||545,382||0||0||13,365||3||750,000||794,731|
- 2020 Election Map
- [One stick figure in a black circle] = 250,000 votes
- [Stick figure in a blue circle] Biden
- [Stick figure in a red circle] Trump
- [Stick figure in a green circle] Other
- Votes are distributed by state as accurately as possible while keeping national totals correct.
- Location within each state is approximate.
- [Blue, red, and green circles are distributed across a map of the United States.]
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