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.


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.

  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