Visualizing U.S. Senate fundraising

People who have followed fundraising totals in South Dakota’s U.S. Senate race know the basic facts: Mike Rounds has raised by far the most, Nelson and Rhoden have raised the least, Weiland has been steady but unimpressive, and Bosworth has raised a lot of money from nationwide donors in unusual circumstances.

But here’s a way to visualize that fundraising at a glance. I used a tool called a heat map, which represents the density of points on a table, to map the cities the five candidates have raised money from. (This isn’t counting unitemized donations.)

Here, for example, is Stace Nelson's fundraising heat map:


(Larger interactive version) You can see Nelson has raised almost all his money in South Dakota, in a series of scattered clumps — not too much money in any one place. He also has a big clump in the Mitchell area, Nelson’s back yard. 

Contrast that with Larry Rhoden's fundraising:


(Larger interactive version) Rhoden has a lot less support in eastern South Dakota, but dominates West River. Rhoden also has a teensy bit more nationwide support, but nothing significant.

Annette Bosworth, on the other hand:


(Larger interactive version) South Dakota is almost barren. Bosworth has raised a lot more money than Rhoden and Nelson, but far less in South Dakota. Instead, Bosworth’s map is dotted with yellow, reflecting a lot of scattered fundraisign around the country, but few real concentrations. She does have a disproportionate amount from Florida and the eastern seaboard, as well as the metro areas Denver and Chicago. All this fits with Bosworth’s direct mail-based approach of targeting conservative donors — often retired — around the country.

Here’s Rick Weiland:


(Larger interactive version) Weiland has a broad national base of support, as well as a fair amount of donations from South Dakota. He’s not as concentrated in a few South Dakota cities as Rhoden and Nelson are, but significant portions of the map are covered with yellow and red. Weiland also has a big cluster in Washington, D.C. — despite his lack of support from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee — and is strong in Boston and San Francisco.

Finally, there’s Mike Rounds:


(Larger interactive version) Rounds has raised a lot more money than anyone, and that’s reflected on the map. He’s collected money from a huge swathe of South Dakota, with a particular concentration in the Sioux Falls area. Rounds has also taken in a lot of money in the nation’s big cities: D.C. (but less prominently than Weiland), Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles.

Jason Ravnsborg and Larry Pressler have yet to report any significant fundraising.

Here’s all the interactive links in one place:

New tool: Map locations of bill sponsors

Some bills in South Dakota divide the Legislature along ideological lines. Others are more a matter of loyalty to a lawmaker’s respective caucus. And some are geographic, pitting one region of the state against another.

Here’s a tool to help visualize the last category.

Just pick the bill type (House Bill, Senate Bill, Resolution or Commemoration), then pick the bill number from the second menu. The map will update to show the official home residences of each sponsor of that legislation.

Check it out here.

Here’s a few examples.

HJR1001 is a constitutional amendment to expand gambling at Deadwood casinos. Revenue from those casinos helps the whole state, but the bill is particularly aimed at helping one particular town. Here’s the map of HJR1001’s sponsors:

There’s some scattered around the state, but a big cluster in the Black Hills — all three representatives of Deadwood, and a bunch from Rapid City, too.

HB1191 is aimed at helping West River ranchers who were devastated by last October’s blizzard. Here’s where its sponsors live:

Four rural West River lawmakers, several from Rapid City, three rural East River lawmakers, plus one from Aberdeen and two from around Sioux Falls. 

SB106 is a bill dealing with transferring land from one school district to another. The driving force behind the bill comes from the small districts surrounding Sioux Falls; here’s a zoomed-in look at where its sponsors come from in the southeastern corner of the state:

One in Sioux Falls. Five from the suburbs.

Play around with the tool yourself. I’ll update it later in the week to add newly filed bills.

Inside the sales tax numbers

In yesterday’s budget speech, Gov. Dennis Daugaard emphasized how the state’s sales tax revenue, while growing, isn’t growing fast enough to fuel big spending increases on its own.

That number, revealed before the budget, raised some eyebrows in the newsroom. After all, sales tax numbers in Sioux Falls — the state’s largest city and economic engine — are booming:

Bolstered by new business openings and a record level of construction work, Sioux Falls’ sales tax revenue is on pace to generate an extra $1.2 million this year.

Through October, Sioux Falls had collected $42.9 million in city sales taxes, almost 8 percent more than last year’s take in that time frame and up from the 5 percent increase city offiicials had budgeted this year.

Read that here.

Statewide, sales tax growth year-to-year was 3.6 percent in July, 7.6 percent in August, 6.4 percent in September and 7.2 percent in October.

The 8 percent Sioux Falls is up by obviously exceeds all those numbers. So other parts of the state must be doing worse, right?

Generally speaking, yes. Here’s a map showing the October 2013 sales tax growth by county, compared to October 2012:

There’s 20 counties with declining sales tax overall, for a net decline of -$14.9 million in taxable sales. The other 47 counties are up by a total of $136 million.

That masks more variation at the city level (which lumps each county’s activity outside of cities and towns into an “other” category). There’s 131 city-areas with declining sales tax revenue, for a total of -$27.9 million. (That includes the parts of Sioux Falls in Lincoln County, which is down $1.2 million, while the parts of Sioux Falls in Minnehaha County have seen sales tax growth of $29.5 million.) Another 218 cities saw increases in sales tax, for a total of $88.2 million.

Among more prominent cities to shrink were Aberdeen, North Sioux City and Britton. Key growing cities include Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Belle Fourche and Brandon.

You can look at the data yourself, here.

But it’s important not to miss how dominant just a few large urban areas are in South Dakota’s economy. Here’s a cartogram of the state, with each county weighted not by actual land area, but by gross sales:


(Colors are added for clarity and don’t signify anything.)

The bigger the county on this cartogram, the bigger its economy, and vice versa. (Compare that to the actual county map.)

Generally speaking, this is simply a matter of population. Last year, I made a similar cartogram, weighting South Dakota’s legislative districts by population.

Experimental mapping: Here’s a cartogram of South Dakota’s legislative districts, weighted by population rather than land area. Since all the districts have roughly the same population, they’re all roughly the same size here (with the two half-districts smaller), even though in real life some districts stretch over huge swathes of the state and others are a few square miles of city.
Compare to the real map.

Experimental mapping: Here’s a cartogram of South Dakota’s legislative districts, weighted by population rather than land area. Since all the districts have roughly the same population, they’re all roughly the same size here (with the two half-districts smaller), even though in real life some districts stretch over huge swathes of the state and others are a few square miles of city.

Compare to the real map.

Tags: maps

The 88th Legislature, mapped

Want to visualize the results of Tuesday’s legislative elections in South Dakota? I whipped up an interactive map where you can toggle back and forth between House and Senate results.

View the map full-screen, or play around with the embedded version below:

Tags: maps

Party registration by district

In just over a month, South Dakotans will elect a new Legislature.

Which party’s candidates have the edge in each district? I’ve created an interactive map showing party registration by legislative district. Click on a district to get a pie chart of the party breakdown.

Play around with the embedded map below, or check out the full-screen version.

Tags: maps SDDP SDGOP

How’s the drought near you?

The Argus Leader’s Cody Winchester put together an interactive map showing the U.S. Drought Monitor’s ratings across the whole country. You can type in a city or address and it will place a point on the map at that location so you can see exactly where the drought is there. Take a look after the jump:

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