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Mapping The Hillary Archipelago And Trump’s Ocean

There’s the America that voted for Hillary, and America that voted for Trump. Now, the New York Times has mapped–and named–both.

Mapping The Hillary Archipelago And Trump’s Ocean
[Photos: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, Flickr user Gage Skidmore]

If there’s anything the 2016 Presidential Election taught us, it’s that our country is far more divided than anyone had really guessed. A new visualization from the New York Times makes that divide starkly clear, separating the districts that voted for Hillary and Trump into their own distinct geographic realities. If you’re a Democrat, the results are bleak: Hillary supporters are an archipelago drowning in the great American ocean of Trump.

See the full graphic here. Tim Wallace/The New York Times

Hillary’s America, which is made up of almost all of America’s cities, roughly looks like the Philippines or another Southern Pacific island group. Geographically, the largest almost-continuous areas of Clinton voters run along the coasts, broken up by swathes of Republican-voting districts, which The New York Times has given place names inspired by nautical markers–such as the Wyoming Shallows, the High Plains Sea, Bakersfield Bay, or the Alabama Gulf.

See the full graphic here. Tim Wallace/The New York Times

Trump’s America, on the other hand, makes up for about 80% of the country’s landmass (although a minority of its population). It almost looks like a regular map of America, except the coasts are worn away, and there are several large inner lakes where Hillary voters congregated. It is, perhaps, no coincidence that Trump’s America looks similar to what America itself will look like if global sea levels continue to rise, drowning out our nation’s coastal cities. The part of America most likely to be visibly affected by climate change voted strongly for Hillary, while in-land America voted for a man who vowed to dismantle the EPA and withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement.

Such a map is depressing, true, but one thing to keep in mind is that the political breakdown of America isn’t as startlingly red and blue as maps like this make it appear. In most American voting districts, a healthy balance between Republicans and Democrats is the norm, not the exception. Trumpland may be big, but it’s not really as big as this mapped perspective seems. And it’s sure as hell got a lot less people than Hillary’s real America.

See The New York Times’ election maps here.

About the author

John Brownlee is a design writer who lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. You can email him at john.brownlee+fastco@gmail.com.



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