Happy New Year from The Political Edge! As the new Congress kicks off today, we’re back providing quick recaps of the most useful political analysis from the last week. In our first post of 2019, we’ll be recapping some of FiveThirtyEight’s best graphs from last year and take a look at what states will play crucial roles in the 2020 Presidential election.
FiveThirtyEight’s Best Charts
FiveThirtyEight is known to feature a plethora of useful/interesting graphs every year. Earlier this week, the site compiled all their political graphs into a single article, providing a great resource for politicos preparing for 2020. Below are some of the ones we identified as the most useful:
The 115th Congress saw record numbers of Representatives announce retirements. FiveThirtyEight put together a comprehensive graph of how many members retired in past years, even going so far as to differentiate the reason for their retirements.
ActBlue, a liberal money-gathering platform, played a huge role in facilitating Democratic small-dollar donations to candidates across the country next year. According to the group, its online fundraising tools have helped Democrats and progressive organizations raise more than $2.9 billion since its founding in 2004. FiveThirtyEight wrote a helpful explainer of how the group operates in October of last year. Of the graphs in the piece, we found the one below showing the increased usage of ActBlue’s platform to be the most striking.
Following the November election, the website attempted to explain the results in 4 charts. While they each have their own merits, we found the one detailing how the Chambers of Congress have swung following previous elections to be the most helpful.
2016 Provides Basis For Understanding 2020
With the 2020 Presidential race beginning to heat up, Roll Call’s Stuart Rothenberg provided a recap of the 2016 contest and noted several areas worth watching heading into November of next year.
As a reminder, “President Trump lost the popular vote by about 2.9 million votes (just over 2 percentage points), but won the White House by carrying states and districts that accounted for 306 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 232.”
“Narrow wins in three key Great Lakes states that often go Democratic in presidential contests — Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes), Wisconsin (10) and Michigan (16) — were crucial for [Trump], as were Florida (29), Arizona (11) and North Carolina (15), which he also won narrowly. Clinton fell 38 electoral votes short of winning the election.”
“Trump narrowly lost four states he could conceivably carry in 2020 — New Hampshire (4), Minnesota (10), Nevada (6) and Maine (4), giving him at least a couple of paths to 270 electoral votes next year. (He did receive one of Maine’s four votes in 2016 when he carried the state’s 2nd District.)”