Description: In the second round of Charted Territory’s “Illuminating America” series1, opinion of whether climate change is happening explains almost 90% of the 2016 election result, beating out Chlamydia1 as our new number one explanatory variable.

Chart: Opinion of climate change happening (x-axis) plotted against Trump vote for the 2016 election. Each bubble is an individual county. All counties above 50% on the y-axis voted for Trump, counties below voted for Clinton. Bubble area is proportional to county population. Bubble color depicts whether the county is in a Red or Blue state.

Observation: With an r-squared value of 0.798, 89% of the county-level results can be explained by the county-level percentage responding if climate change is happening Chlamydia rate. Specifically, increasing county-level “climate-change-is-happening” rates are significantly correlated with decreasing Trump vote.

Electionator

1Rank of each variable; 2Variable name; 3Percentage of counties that have data coverage; 4Regression type (linear; exponential; or power); 5Data weighted by county population; 6Correlation between variable and Trump vote; 7R-squared value; 8Percent of county-level results correctly predicted (value outside parentheses is the average success of predicting Republican and Democrat counties separately).

Methods and data: Climate change opinions are taken from the Yale Climate Opinion Maps 20182,3. County-level 2016 election results were compiled by Charted Territory by visiting each state’s Secretary of State web page. The data were compiled and visualized using Microsoft Excel4.


  1. https://chartedterritory.us/2018/07/18/illuminating-america-chlamydia-and-the-2016-election/
  2. http://climatecommunication.yale.edu/visualizations-data/ycom-us-2018/
  3. Howe, Peter D., Matto Mildenberger, Jennifer R. Marlon, and Anthony Leiserowitz (2015). “Geographic variation in opinions on climate change at state and local scales in the USA.” Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate2583
  4. https://products.office.com/en-us/excel