Newspapers and magazine rely on graphs to depict current news stories, and political candidates often offer charts to buttress their positions. Republican hopeful Mitt Romney, for example, recently faced media scrutiny over a key graph in his jobs plan. Some commentators complained that the graph was intentionally misleading in assigning blame for the recent recession. A careful examination of the text within the image and within the supporting paragraphs, however, does accurately explain the representation, but an observer needs a honed critical lens to parse the graph properly.
|Source: Romney for President|
The most renowned and effective political wielder of statistical charts, of course, was 1992 independent candidate Ross Perot. His intensive use of graphs during his paid television segments convincingly made the case for deficit reduction and spending changes. It was a far cry from the typical bluster and voice-overs of most campaign ads, and for 18.9% of voters, it was a welcome change.
Check out our other posts about design and education in the 2012 election.