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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 350070

Reported Deaths: 7590
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds24512449
DeSoto23513283
Harrison21172335
Rankin15798293
Jackson15735254
Madison11171227
Lee10903180
Jones9223169
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Holmes202574
Clay201954
Clarke189580
Tallahatchie185642
Calhoun183232
Smith183036
Yalobusha173641
Walthall150449
Lawrence145426
Greene141935
Amite139144
Noxubee137235
Perry136138
Montgomery133944
Carroll127031
Webster124332
Jefferson Davis119834
Tunica116127
Benton107825
Claiborne105931
Kemper104429
Humphreys102333
Franklin88424
Quitman86319
Choctaw83119
Wilkinson79332
Jefferson72228
Sharkey51918
Issaquena1746
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 592417

Reported Deaths: 11542
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson861091591
Mobile49771865
Madison37714533
Shelby27501259
Tuscaloosa27344465
Montgomery26343628
Baldwin25860329
Lee17336181
Calhoun15498334
Morgan15225291
Etowah15060370
Marshall13198236
Houston12191293
Elmore10977219
St. Clair10852252
Limestone10816158
Cullman10610206
Lauderdale10305254
DeKalb9594192
Talladega9005188
Walker7840288
Autauga7615114
Jackson7431117
Blount7417139
Colbert6752142
Coffee6443132
Dale5723117
Russell482243
Chilton4810117
Covington4804125
Franklin462781
Tallapoosa4571156
Escambia451083
Chambers3987125
Dallas3751163
Clarke372263
Marion3470107
Pike334079
Lawrence3277100
Winston300773
Bibb292865
Geneva288383
Marengo262967
Barbour253761
Pickens247762
Butler242472
Hale236778
Fayette228165
Henry216545
Monroe204541
Randolph202844
Cherokee200748
Washington186839
Macon171552
Crenshaw170658
Clay167159
Cleburne161845
Lamar151938
Lowndes146255
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh122132
Coosa119529
Perry111228
Sumter110633
Greene99337
Choctaw64425
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