# Thread: Presidential Politics in Charts

1. ## Presidential Politics in Charts

Before looking at the charts, I want to remind people of an elementary school lesson on how people use charts to mislead:

Now here are the charts given by the Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...obama-edition/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...on-in-1-chart/

2. The Republican chart seems kinda freaky, since they're using the same visual scale (height) to measure two different things.

I'm still looking at the dem chart to see if anything is out of alignment, but that one looks straight-forward. Let me know if I missed something there.

So what is the Washington Post trying to say? That Republicans cheat on graphs?

3. Originally Posted by Jennifer
The Republican chart seems kinda freaky, since they're using the same visual scale (height) to measure two different things.

I'm still looking at the dem chart to see if anything is out of alignment, but that one looks straight-forward. Let me know if I missed something there.

So what is the Washington Post trying to say? That Republicans cheat on graphs?
Not exactly cheat, but dramatize. It is like three people have \$100 dollars. One person has one \$100 dollar bills. The second person has five \$20 dollar bills. The third person has one-hundred \$1 dollar bills. Not looking closely, you would think the first person is poor and the third person is beyond rich.

For the Republican scale, it dramatizes the unemployment rate and the earned income rate by skewing it further down or further up... while only running from 90-102. They could of easily go by 4's instead of two to flat-line the line graph more, but making the graph going by two is more convenient for them. For a person who don't see the subtle details, they'll immediately think that not much has been done.

On the democrat's scale, they could of easily done it on a 50k scale because it would hypothetically help them. That can easily dramatize what Bush left us in the unemployment rate from 2008 really far down but show a dramatic skew up when it comes to mid-2009 to 2012 while Obama is in office. If we were to do the bar graphs by a 50k scale, we'd see twice the bar graph down and twice the bar graph up... showing to what is seemingly great employment rate. For this graph's subtlety, a viewer may think... while not fantastic... the gains are modest.

4. lol. statisticians.

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