Not one to be left out of all the buzz surrounding the upcoming US presidential election, Amazon has unveiled its Election Heat Map which it will be updating each day to show the best-selling political books by state.
The map is separated into blue (liberal) and red (conservative) categories, and it lets you click on any given state to see how each party is faring in the book stakes – for example you’ll see here that 44% of the US are buying liberal-themed books, compared to 56% for conservatives:
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If you then click on any given state, you’ll see how this is divided on a more granular level – and you’ll be shown the top five books for each party too:
A state turns blue if it has a higher number of liberal book sales for the month, taking into account both print and Kindle formats. When liberal and conservatives are more equally represented in a particular state, that state will be shaded beige. It is, of course, worth remembering that this doesn’t necessarily reflect how people will vote on the big day, a point that Amazon itself is quick to acknowledge.
“Book sales by geography always have interesting things to say about our states, and an election season is a particularly good time to use this data to help customers follow the changing political conversation across the country,” says Chris Schluep, Senior Editor, Amazon.com Books. “But books aren’t votes, so a map of book purchases may reflect curiosity as much as agreement.”
The Amazon Books Editorial team pulled lists of best-selling books into relevant categories and vetted them using a variety of tools for clear partisan leaning. Given that many books have no clear political leaning, Amazon chose not to include these. The top 250 titles in each list will power the Heat Map.