Sunday, November 2, 2008

Matter of Choice - Junk Charts

Junk Charts has a pretty bad bubble chart from NYT Magazine showing opinions on abortion.
Suggested improvements include a profile chart and a tornado chart.

I prefer this stacked bar chart:

The usual knock against the stacked charts is you can only really judge the size of the bars at the ends. In this case I think that is fine. The extreme positions and the total blue and red seem most interesting, and those are immediately apparent.

Legal in all cases follows what you might expect by party and by gender.
Legal in all or most cases follows the expected by party, but is even by gender.
Illegal in all cases doesn't have as much variation - and in fact slightly more Dems support this than Independents.

The tornado chart lines up the "Most" categories, rather than the extremes.

1 comment:

  1. I'm of mixed opinion on this type of display. I like Kaiser's tornado chart which uses the center line of the chart as a fulcrum. But I also like this stacked bar approach. As you say, in this case, comparing the different color bars is not too important. The strongly favored and strongly disfavored stand out, as do the total (strongly plus somewhat) favored and disfavored. I think I would remove all but the 50% gridline, and lighten that one somewhat.