The House Over the Past 10 Years

This bar graph illustrates how many seats each party has had over the last 10 years in the House of Representatives. Rather than the information change in meaning or significance, I think the graph makes this information more graspable. It visually depicts the force with which a President must act when the majority of the House is not of a similar party. For example, in the middle of President Barack Obama’s first term of office the House radically changed from being a democratic majority to a Republican one. This was due to a rise in Anti-Obama sentiment in America and also the galvanization of the Tea Party movement. I also think the graph clearly illustrates jumps in congressional representation. Between the 111th and 112th congresses, for instance, the physical length difference between the two bars representing Republican seats illustrate a huge shift in political opinion in America. By graphing the information in this way, I am able to see saliently whether a President will have the political opportunity to pass his or her own legislation. When one side of the House has the majority, political tactics like filibustering and gridlock delay the policies put forth by the President. Lastly, the graph shows how greatly polarized American politics are today. Lets again take Barack Obama as an example. He is a democratic President that must deal with a republican congress, thus most of his bills do not get passed. This graph illustrates America’s political divisions while also providing insight into how much support a President will have in office.

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