I wrote about this topic with Bob Mankoff for the New Yorker.
You can read the piece here!
And you can see how the visuals were made here!
It builds off of my previous work on the New Yorker Caption contest. (New visuals, new data, and edits from real editors!) Many, many thanks to Bob for giving me access to troves of fascinating data as well as making great edits and alterations to this piece (including the addition of my new favorite phrase “nattering nabobs”).
Bonus cartoon of surprising relevance given Alaska’s success in terms of caption win rate:
Code and raw data for replicating these choropleths are available at my NYer_Choropleths Github repo. An R Notebook on this is also available here. Also, thanks to Sarah Levine for using her QGIS knowledge to help me tame maps of the US.