Team Obama Does Not Understand How Venn Diagrams Work, Either

By David A. Graham

The president's campaign tries and fails to make a snappy infographic about entitlements.

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Barack Obama / Facebook

A specter is haunting the 2012 presidential campaign -- the specter of political operatives who have no idea how to make Venn diagrams. In July, we rapped the Romney campaign for their failure to understand that a Venn diagram is not the same as a subtraction problem. Today, it's the Obama team's turn.

In this case, the folks in Chicago have attempted to use a Venn diagram when a much simpler display would have worked. It's not strictly wrong; both Romney and Ryan do support a voucher program for Medicare. But this diagram wrongly implies that this is the only thing the two men have in common. Somewhere, visualization guru and sometime Obama Administration adviser Edward Tufte is weeping.

Here, for the record, is a better approximation of what they were going for:

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David A. Graham

Hat tip: I Love Charts

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/08/team-obama-does-not-understand-how-venn-diagrams-work-either/261736/