Political participation and money: what you'd expect

People who have more money are more likely to contribute in local elections. Are you surprised?

While digging around for some old code to use for a new project, I found some data I’d collected and mashed up into a map, but never actually published anywhere:

  • Betsy Hodges’ campaign contributions during the 2013 mayoral election
  • Mark Andrews’ campaign contributions during the 2013 mayoral election
  • Census 2010 average neighborhood income

It may be a good example of data as a predictor of who is likely to contribute in local elections, and it paints a picture of what you’d basically expect to be the case: richer neighborhoods contribute more.

I also took a look at how things shape up when you consider the percentage of the average donation of the average salary. It’s not a surprise, but boy is the red color on the map scary: places that contribute the least actually need the most representation, but do not get it.

Explore the maps here, but first have a teaser: % of the average contribution of the average monthly salary.

For the technically curious, the maps were built with a combination of d3, and TopoJSON.