Data in the News

The Data in the News Series looks at current events through the lens of data. We look at interesting quantifiable trends, find new and sometimes spurious correlations, and analyze data-based claims made by politicians and public figures.

Trump’s Budget for the Wall is $25B Too Small (7x)

Last updated by Ryan Whitacker on March 17, 2017. Americans: prepare to get out your wallets to pay Uncle Sam. After sifting through Trump's budget proposal, Reuters recently reported  Trump "wants Congress to shell out $1.5 billion for the border wall with Mexico in...

2016 Presidential Media Blackouts: Not Just Conspiracy

Published on January 12 by Ryan Whitacker In my last post I talked about correlations between media coverage and poll numbers for Republican presidential candidates. The most common response from non-Trump supporters was a claim that their candidate is being treated...

Is All Publicity Good Publicity for Republicans?

Published on December 19, 2015 by Ryan Whitacker It's been said that "all publicity is good publicity." Our analysis shows that this is mostly true in the Republican primary: unless you're Jeb Bush. We analyzed the correlation between search interest on Google Trends...

How Much Universal Healthcare Would Cost in the US

Published November 11, 2015 by Ryan Whitacker I recently published an article calculating the costs of all Bernie Sander's proposals. The article spread quickly on Facebook and Reddit; the most common disagreement (by far) could be paraphrased, "Universal Healthcare...

What Bernie Sanders’s Proposals Would REALLY Cost

Published October 16, 2015 by Ryan Whitacker Updated on October 22, 2015 The WSJ estimated (badly) that everything Bernie Sanders wants would cost an astounding $18 trillion - but the WSJ did this analysis in some kind of time vacuum with no supply or demand forces....