According to the latest polls, the 2012 presidential race is going to be a close one, which means that--once again--it will come down to the swing states: As the electoral votes in Ohio, Florida, and seven other "undecided" states go, so goes the White House.
But the details are messy. With nine swing states in the mix, there are a total of 2^9 possible outcomes in tomorrow's election. That's 512 different possibilities.
Which, normally, would be too many to keep track of. But in today's infographic, visualization all-stars Mike Bostock and Shan Carter boiled the "combinatorial explosion" of possible results down to a simple, interactive flowchart.
In a blog post, the designers explained their secret to keeping the chart simple:
In other words, by halting each outcome branch once a winner is determined (once one of the candidates acquires over 270 electoral votes, or they tie), Bostock and Carter represented all of the meaningful outcomes while showing us only about a quarter of the total possibilities (the flowchart displays 140 nodes, or 27% of the total possible outcomes).
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.