Fact checking Trump's 'Impeach this' map

President Donald Trump tweeted a map with the words "Try to impeach this" written across it that purported to show county-by-county results of the 2016 election, but it inaccurately displayed multiple blue counties won by Hillary Clinton as red counties won by Trump.

Posted: Oct 2, 2019 9:55 AM


On Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted a map his daughter-in-law Lara Trump had shared on Saturday.

The map purported to show county-by-county results map of the 2016 election, filled with red for counties Trump supposedly won. The words "Try to impeach this" were plastered across the middle.

The Trumps seemingly did not produce this map themselves -- it appears it was published in 2016 on HuffPost, a website usually critical of the President. But it is not correct.

Facts First: The map the Trumps tweeted inaccurately displays multiple blue counties won by Hillary Clinton as red counties won by Trump.

The Clinton-won counties the map wrongly shows as Trump-won counties include Orange County, California; Washoe County, Nevada; Lake County, Minnesota; Gallatin County, Montana; and Whitman County, Washington.

It was also not the first time Trump has displayed an inaccurate county-by-county election map; he also displayed one in early 2018. And it was far from the first time that Trump has tweeted information from others without verifying it himself.

As numerous analysts have pointed out when Trump has previously touted county-level maps, such maps provide incomplete information. Specifically, they do not distinguish between a county with millions of residents and a county with a few thousand. Clinton earned about 3 million more votes than Trump even though he won far more counties.

Where the inaccurate map might have come from

As Twitter user Loren Collins noted on Tuesday, it appears that the county-by-county map shared by the President was initially published less than two weeks after the election on a personal blog dedicated to data visualization. The map was part of an article, by Max Galka, that examines how electoral maps usually don't provide enough information to show just how many people voted in each precinct.

The blog post was republished on HuffPost in December 2016. While the map on Galka's personal blog may have been updated -- the map in his article has the correct colors for each county -- the map on Huffpost is incorrect.

One possible reason this map did not reflect the final results: correct county-level results data can take a long time to come in. Certain states are not able to provide complete information until long after the election. "Some states don't certify their results until over a month after the election," says Harry Enten, a CNN senior analyst who specializes in data-driven journalism. "So any county-by-county map that looks at returns within a few weeks of the election is susceptible to potential errors."

In other words, it's possible that the original map used the best data available in mid-November 2016. But as more data came in, some counties switched from red to blue, rendering the original map inaccurate. CNN has reached out to Galka but has not yet heard back.

The map on Galka's personal blog appears to have been updated. But the version posted on HuffPost was not -- and, now, the currently incorrect version is being shared by the President of the United States as a defense against impeachment.

Terre Haute
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 74°
Robinson
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 69°
Indianapolis
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 72°
Rockville
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 70°
Casey
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 72°
Brazil
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 74°
Marshall
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 74°
A Pleasant Overnight
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 279453

Reported Deaths: 8722
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1400785172
DuPage16883551
Lake16489486
Will13539373
Kane12716325
St. Clair6339187
Madison5414131
Winnebago5399149
McHenry4446118
Champaign441120
Peoria325648
McLean318820
Rock Island282771
Kankakee266076
Sangamon226744
Unassigned2250236
Kendall193225
LaSalle163056
Tazewell160920
DeKalb148038
Macon141740
Coles136630
Williamson133737
Jackson124224
Clinton108420
Boone105623
Adams102010
Randolph92311
Effingham8341
Whiteside69420
Ogle6416
Grundy6355
Monroe62715
Morgan62523
Henry6245
Vermilion6224
Knox6133
Bureau58711
Jefferson56438
Marion5160
Franklin4992
Macoupin4987
Union49724
Stephenson4756
McDonough45315
Christian44310
Logan4361
Woodford4026
Crawford3892
Jersey38514
Cass38411
Iroquois35719
Shelby3524
Fayette3513
Livingston3406
Perry33815
Lee3331
Montgomery33113
Warren3072
Bond2944
Douglas2816
Saline2783
Lawrence2502
Wayne2495
Jo Daviess2432
Greene2167
Carroll2124
Moultrie2073
Cumberland2004
Jasper1999
Washington1971
Hancock1943
Pulaski1591
Richland1594
White1590
Clark1512
Fulton1480
Wabash1461
Johnson1440
Clay1410
Piatt1310
Mason1281
Mercer1275
Menard1190
Pike1101
Edgar1097
De Witt1031
Ford985
Massac962
Marshall940
Scott740
Alexander731
Gallatin672
Hamilton670
Henderson630
Edwards610
Putnam520
Stark502
Schuyler450
Calhoun440
Brown410
Hardin360
Pope261
Out of IL20

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 112626

Reported Deaths: 3520
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20832759
Lake10292318
Elkhart6415109
St. Joseph6156102
Allen6029200
Hamilton4724109
Vanderburgh344530
Hendricks2673122
Monroe247436
Tippecanoe226913
Johnson2268123
Clark215056
Porter207845
Cass19329
Delaware188261
Vigo178123
Madison159575
LaPorte137739
Floyd131461
Howard128563
Kosciusko120217
Warrick119936
Bartholomew115357
Marshall98924
Dubois95418
Boone95146
Hancock91143
Grant89133
Noble89132
Henry77024
Wayne74414
Jackson7409
Morgan70038
Shelby66529
Daviess64427
Dearborn63228
LaGrange63111
Clinton59212
Harrison56024
Putnam53710
Lawrence50528
Montgomery50521
Knox5019
Gibson4854
White48114
DeKalb45611
Decatur45439
Miami4263
Fayette41813
Greene41835
Jasper3862
Steuben3707
Scott35610
Sullivan33012
Jennings31212
Posey3060
Franklin29925
Clay2935
Orange28524
Ripley2838
Carroll27013
Wabash2618
Washington2611
Starke2537
Whitley2526
Wells2482
Adams2453
Jefferson2443
Fulton2342
Huntington2223
Tipton21722
Spencer2153
Perry21413
Randolph2087
Jay1730
Newton17111
Owen1651
Martin1640
Rush1524
Pike1401
Vermillion1260
Fountain1182
Pulaski1151
Blackford1133
Crawford1030
Brown1023
Parke941
Benton880
Union770
Ohio767
Switzerland700
Warren391
Unassigned0225