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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 8:55 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.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 604608

Reported Deaths: 7642
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1249941780
Ramsey52516897
Dakota46848471
Anoka42782458
Washington27433291
Stearns22559225
St. Louis18142313
Scott17552137
Wright16382149
Olmsted13401102
Sherburne1202495
Carver1067548
Clay826492
Rice8203110
Blue Earth762644
Crow Wing681795
Kandiyohi668185
Chisago620052
Otter Tail586284
Benton582998
Goodhue483974
Douglas475681
Mower470533
Winona461351
Itasca459963
Isanti440164
McLeod430861
Morrison424862
Beltrami407862
Nobles407550
Steele397816
Polk389072
Becker386755
Lyon363853
Carlton353056
Freeborn347133
Pine334923
Nicollet331345
Mille Lacs311854
Brown307940
Le Sueur297326
Cass286232
Todd285633
Meeker263443
Waseca238023
Martin235333
Roseau211221
Wabasha20793
Hubbard196641
Dodge18793
Renville182846
Redwood176539
Houston174616
Cottonwood167124
Wadena163423
Fillmore157610
Faribault154819
Chippewa154038
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
Sibley146810
Aitkin138937
Watonwan13579
Rock128719
Jackson122812
Pipestone116726
Yellow Medicine115020
Pope11306
Murray107110
Swift106918
Koochiching95418
Stevens92411
Clearwater89016
Marshall88817
Lake83220
Wilkin83213
Lac qui Parle75622
Big Stone6044
Grant5948
Lincoln5853
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48293
Red Lake4017
Traverse3775
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 371146

Reported Deaths: 6053
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58273640
Linn21228339
Scott20310248
Black Hawk16167312
Woodbury15241230
Johnson1462385
Dubuque13512211
Dallas1128999
Pottawattamie11229174
Story1071648
Warren584091
Clinton561593
Cerro Gordo554095
Sioux517674
Webster516094
Muscatine4884106
Marshall486876
Des Moines467572
Wapello4338122
Buena Vista426940
Jasper421172
Plymouth403181
Lee382356
Marion366076
Jones301057
Henry294537
Bremer288661
Carroll287152
Boone268634
Crawford268140
Benton259955
Washington257351
Dickinson249344
Mahaska232751
Jackson225242
Clay216727
Kossuth216166
Tama212071
Delaware211143
Winneshiek198835
Page194522
Buchanan194133
Cedar192323
Hardin187544
Fayette186743
Wright186040
Hamilton181951
Harrison180073
Clayton171157
Butler166335
Madison164619
Mills163724
Floyd163442
Cherokee159338
Lyon158841
Poweshiek157136
Allamakee152852
Hancock150334
Iowa149824
Winnebago144531
Cass139255
Calhoun138913
Grundy137333
Emmet135841
Jefferson133535
Shelby131737
Sac130920
Union130035
Louisa129749
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126643
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Franklin123523
Guthrie123332
Humboldt119626
Palo Alto113623
Howard105022
Montgomery103638
Clarke100924
Keokuk96832
Monroe96431
Unassigned9530
Ida91535
Adair87332
Pocahontas85822
Davis85225
Monona83131
Osceola78916
Greene78011
Lucas77923
Worth7618
Taylor66812
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