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Amazon creates Presidential Election heat map based on political book purchases

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Amazon has created a heat map that shows what kinds of political books people are reading, and where they're reading them.

Amazon election heat map
Amazon election heat map

Everyone from Microsoft to Twitter to YouTube has taken to providing their own unique spin on covering the election, and Amazon is no different. The company has released a "2012 Election Heat Map" that shows what kinds of political books Americans are buying. Amazon took its 250 top-selling political books and characterized each one as either red (Republican Party), blue (Democratic party), or neutral, and then determined where those books have been purchased and shipped in the last 30 days. The result is a map that shows whether states are more red or blue based on their reading habits — at the time of writing Republican-leaning books were leading the way, accounting for 57 percent of purchases. Of course, as Amazon points out, "books aren't votes, and a map of book purchases can reflect curiosity as much as commitment" — but it's an interesting use of data nonetheless.