07 August 2008

Campaign Contributions

We haven't heard much about the US presidential elections since Obama finally got enough delegates to secure the Democratic Party nomination. It's likely we won't hear much more, either, until both parties have their national conventions. In case you were wondering, the Democrats will be in Denver from 25-28 August and the Republicans will be in Minneapolis-Saint Paul (that's in Minnesota for your non-American readers) from 1-4 September.

In the meantime, it can be easy to forget that there's even going to be an election in November. There isn't much happening being reported in the news and it's a safe bet that the Olympics will have most of our attention anyway. Today, though, I happened upon a website that puts a whole new twist on the election year. The Huffington Post has a site called FundRace 2008 that allows you to input a place or a name and find out which political campaigns people are contributing to! Yes, it's an opportunity to spy on your neighbors and a few famous people if you so desire. I found out, for example, that Carrboro, NC has mainly supported democratic candidates. You can also look up the 2004 elections if you get excited.

If you enjoy the graphics that these maps provide, check out another entertaining website, NameVoyager. It creates dynamic images of name popularity of the ages - and they change as you type the name! I find them fascinating and beautiful. And if that's not enough for you, here's a site at the University of Maryland with links to even more pretty information!

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