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The expanding fiscal waistline

Happy day-after-super-Tuesday, everybody. If you’re as political as I am, you may not have realized that yesterday was different than any other day, but apparently it was.

Last night, we got a chance to see if money really does talk, as the fab-four of remaining republican hopefuls — Romney, Paul, Santorum, and Gingrich — awaited results about their future and perhaps that of our country. I’m not going to pretend I know what the results mean. I was more excited to hear that the front page of the Herald’s said “Holy Toledo” than I was about what that headline refers to. But hey.

With Super Tuesday barely a memory and Fat Tuesday not far behind, I thought the simulation below from Yu-Ru Lin of the Center for Complex Network Research, would be fitting today. It’s a political contributions cartogram, illustrating the relative size of each state in the lower 48 based on the flow of money in and out over the last twenty years. Some states are fat an happy during particular election years — like Massachusetts the year Scott Brown came on the scene. Overall, the money flow has exploded like a Chili’s onion blossom, as you can see by the changing size of the entire country, and yes, it’s been normalized for inflation.

As stated on Lin’s website, the video is the sum of three sets of maps:
1. money flow: orange – money flow in the state; gray – money flow out of the state
2. where the money comes from: red – money from the state for Republican; blue – money from the state for Democrat
3. where the money goes to: red – money giving to the state Republican candidates; blue – money giving to the state Democrat candidates

Simulation used with permission from Yu-Ru Lin.