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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1031991782
Lake556411007
Allen41662691
St. Joseph36974564
Hamilton36561417
Elkhart29390459
Tippecanoe22886225
Vanderburgh22549400
Porter19348325
Johnson18432388
Hendricks17608317
Clark13206193
Madison13139344
Vigo12608253
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Monroe12188175
Delaware10954198
Howard10285225
Kosciusko9619119
Hancock8562145
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Warrick7856156
Floyd7781180
Grant7232179
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Boone6939103
Morgan6746141
Dubois6214118
Marshall6208116
Cass6000109
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Henry5895109
Noble580787
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Shelby500896
Lawrence4738122
Gibson444593
Clinton441455
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Steuben399759
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Scott270156
Clay266448
Washington245234
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234431
Starke227958
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Sullivan214343
Owen211658
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Jay200932
Carroll193420
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Union72810
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 20122
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1286421460
Cuyahoga1157382208
Hamilton813551248
Montgomery525311041
Summit48395999
Lucas43343818
Butler38951604
Stark33318929
Lorain25658504
Warren24580303
Mahoning22355603
Lake21166387
Clermont20111253
Delaware18841135
Licking16660222
Fairfield16570204
Trumbull16537482
Medina15603271
Greene15272247
Clark14233306
Wood13287198
Portage13242214
Allen11910239
Richland11601211
Miami10843224
Wayne9130222
Columbiana9029230
Muskingum8906135
Pickaway8658122
Tuscarawas8643248
Marion8641138
Erie8056164
Ashtabula7147179
Hancock6996132
Ross6943161
Geauga6834150
Scioto6534105
Belmont6155174
Union584549
Lawrence5726102
Jefferson5675158
Huron5544122
Sandusky5439125
Darke5415129
Seneca5347126
Washington5318109
Athens523660
Auglaize501887
Mercer487385
Shelby476595
Knox4570112
Madison444065
Ashland435597
Putnam4336103
Defiance432298
Fulton432072
Crawford4036110
Brown402461
Logan387577
Preble3848104
Clinton379166
Ottawa373581
Highland359665
Williams348078
Champaign344258
Guernsey324853
Jackson318154
Perry297350
Morrow291840
Fayette285450
Hardin274965
Henry273367
Holmes2699101
Coshocton268960
Van Wert247264
Adams243156
Pike242835
Gallia240750
Wyandot234556
Hocking220162
Carroll197148
Paulding176542
Meigs148240
Monroe136344
Noble136039
Harrison114138
Morgan109624
Vinton85517
Unassigned03
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