11 November 2011

A Pie Chart to the Face of Each of Republican Presidential Candidates

Source: CBS News

In addition to the clear political absurdity of Republican voters, there is the media's insistence on committing a graphical faux pas - using a pie chart.
"Tables are clearly the best way to show exact numerical values, although the entries can be arranged in semi-graphical form. Tables are preferable to graphics for small data sets. A table is nearly always better than a pie chart: the only thing worse than a pie chart is several of them, for then the viewer is asked to compare quantities located in spatial disarray both within and between pies ... Given their low data density and failure to order numbers along a visual dimension, pie charts should never be used." (Ed Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 178).
In combination this makes it difficult to see that none of the front-runners could decisively beat "someone (anyone?) else" even among avowed Republicans!

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