How to Make Republicans Embrace Immigration Reform

9 Responses to How to Make Republicans Embrace Immigration Reform

  1. Andrew Gelman April 26, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    My first step on immigration reform is to deport whoever made that graph.

  2. longwalkdownlyndale April 26, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    I bet you’d see a uptick too if they used the term “tough requirements” rather than just “requirements.”

    @Gelman Oh come on, the animals walking up the hills are fun.

  3. Andrew Gelman April 26, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    I actually don’t really have a problem with the animals. But, as to the graph: this is really a huge amount of complexity to display 9 data points! I say, make the crisp line graph, then throw the animals on, sure, no problem.

    I suspect what happened was that the person who made the graph did not know about line graphs but only knew about bar graphs, thus started with the bar graph (which is not the best way to display such data) then added all the complicated stuff to connect the bars. If only the graph-maker had known about line graphs from the start, the graph would’ve been much better.

    As Tufte says: throw in all the ornamentation you want, but please don’t obscure what the data have to say!

  4. Adam Schaeffer April 27, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    Andrew … Do you mean something like these line graphs?

    Love to get your critique snd suggestions!

    • Andrew Gelman April 27, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

      Hi, Adam. I hate to be difficult, but . . . I don’t like the line plots in the linked page either. My problems there are: (a) the labeling is a mess and it’s hard to figure out which line is which, and (b) each line codes only one point. For those graphs, I’d prefer something like a dotplot, where the left line lists the issues (in some reasonable order, such as increasing popularity or importance) and then there are three columns of dotplots corresponding to the information in the 3 graphs.

      • Adam Schaeffer April 28, 2013 at 7:38 am #

        Thanks Andrew . . . you’re not being difficult. Thoughtful and good criticism is extraordinarily difficult to come by.

        But I don’t think I follow how a dotplot would work with this information.

        I’ve gone back and forth with various ways of presenting data from experiments, and am never satisfied . . . one thing I want a reader to be able to intuitively capture at a glance is general movement, up or down, without having to compare or do math.

        Only the lines seem to be able to accomplish this, but then you run into the problem of how to make it clear which line is which, fitting all of the information into one graph (which I do want to have, so one can get a sense of the outsized impacts, etc).

        Any thoughts on showing movement? And do you have an example of the kind of dotplot you had in mind?


        • Andrew Gelman April 28, 2013 at 8:03 am #


          When I have some time, I can try to mock up a dotplot. Regarding movement up or down, that’s easy: just present the numbers relative to a starting point, you can even use different colors for positive or negative values if you’d like (although I’d prefer to just indicate the slope by position, with a dotted line at zero).

  5. Jon M April 27, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    The moment I saw that graph I knew there would be a scathing Gelman comment underneath..