The Best Visualizations Of Yesterday’s Elections

Yes, there’s a lot of red.

Whether or not the votes go your party’s way, election night always captures the feeling of progress. Part of that is because every two years, the media gets a little bit better at covering the event, treating us to better data science and visual journalism.


This year was no different, with media like NPR and the New York Times rolling out their latest design innovations for the midterm elections. Here’s the best coverage we’ve seen from around the web.


Leading up to the election, FiveThirtyEight published a fantastic statistical interactive that teased just how likely Republicans were to take over the Senate. Then, last night, they ran a liveblog infused with quickly rendered analysis. We were suckers for their breakdown of women in the Senate, and their unique probability-fused results ticker that ran in the right sidebar. It’s all still published for your perusing here: [Link]

The Wall Street Journal


The WSJ published a traditional series of U.S. election maps, in which you can toggle between the House, Senate, and gubernatorial races. And in an unadvertised feature within their interface, you can zoom into the razor-sharp vector maps with a two-finger trackpad swipe (much like Google Maps), but you won’t glean more detail doing so. Below, you can see how Key Ballot Initiatives, like minimum wage hikes, gun control, and abortion/birth control went in a few states–votes that may prove more important than some of the elections themselves. [Link]


Bloomberg Politics has that same traditional series of U.S. election maps you’ll see at WSJ–with a twist. Instead of Red and Blue, they’re hot pink and seafoam, like the 1980s! (Or, you know, the Reagan era.) Bloomberg’s tagline promises their neo noir reboot is “The best-looking election map out there. Guaranteed.” [Link] (Note: Link went down at time of publishing.)

The New York Times


The New York Times’ Upshot promises “The Most Detailed Maps You’ll See From Yesterday’s Senate Elections*”–yes, that asterisk is hilarious–that features just the battleground states, presented one at a time, in a beautiful full-frame presentation. You can hover over every precinct to see how its residents voted. But if you can’t make sense of it all, the Upshot highlights anomalies in the voting patterns. [Link]

National Public Radio

NPR took the most unique approach of the bunch. They created a slide show “optimized for your TV or coffee table” to cover and catch you up on the election–almost like a very well done PowerPoint. It intersperses simple graphs showing election results with pictures and large blockquotes fed from NPR’s Tumblr, all while NPR’s election coverage plays in the background. The whole effect has a television newscast feel, if you’re willing to surrender your mouse’s autonomy and let NPR wash you in coverage. [Link]


About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company. He started, a simple way to give back every day.