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Political Parties Throughout American History Visualized In 'Balance Of Power' Graphic

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The 2012 campaign will reach its crescendo over the next two weeks, but Republicans and Democrats fighting for power is nothing new. For some context, this interactive graphic, titled Balance of Power, combines current polls with historical trends in party ID and congressional representation to narrate the centuries-long battle between parties, from Barack Obama and Mitt Romney back to John C. Fremont and James Buchanan.

Balance of Power was the winning entry in a HuffPost contest to depict the election using polling data from HuffPost Pollster. Visualizing, a site created by GE and Seed Media Group for "making sense of complex issues through data and design," hosted the challenge.

"What I decided to come up with was to represent the power of political parties in the government, and also the strength of the parties in the electorate," said programmer Felix Gonda, who created the visualization.

Gonda said he wanted to provide easy access to data that would encourage conversations about history and politics.

"Otherwise, you would have to go to a table that shows you how each state is doing," he said. "But by just looking at the visual, you can immediately recognize that, oh, I know which are the swing states, I know which states are leaning Democratic and which are leaning Republican."

Gonda's project is available at Visualizing, along with other projects using HuffPost Pollster's data.

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