In my last post, I demonstrated how you can create graphs and text that tell a nice story about how much the American public approved of each of the past 14 Presidents! So, how about we make the information more fun to watch? Luckily, R can accomplish this. With the gganimate and magick packages, GIF building is easy and effective. Let’s look at the end result first, so I can reel you into making this for yourself.
A few weeks ago, I tuned into an RStudio talk by John Burn-Murdoch about reporting and visualizing the COVID pandemic. As a data journalist at the Financial Times, he has been extremely influential over the past year creating well-known charts and graphics about the spread of COVID and it’s toll on the world. And it is all because his graphics tell a story. As a consultant, I know the importance of storytelling, but doing it in programming is difficult as the story often gets lost behind the data.
Okay, you got me. Stability and Donald Trump are not two terms that are usually seen in the same sentence. But overlooking policy, events and Twitter rants, Trump’s presidency characterized a level of stability we have not seen in Presidential history in one way–Approval Ratings. I present the chart-du-jour so to speak. Below you see the final installment of FiveThirtyEight’s approval ratings of President Trump. What you see is a constant and consistent approval trend line between a high of about 45 and a low of 35.