Road to 270

Country/area: United States

Organisation: NBC News

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 30 Jan 2020

Credit: Anna Brand, Joe Murphy, Robin Muccari, Kara Haupt, Nigel Chiwaya, Jeremia Kimelman, Ellie Frymire

Project description:

The Road to 270 project is a top-of-its-kind interactive electoral college map tool that also helped narrate the course of the 2020 presidential election in realtime.

Impact reached:

Road to 270 let readers understand the permutations of possible electoral college vote combinations both on their own and by exploring and tweaking pre-planned scenarios written by NBC News political experts Steve Kornacki and Chuck Todd. 

More than 2.4 million readers visited the page more than 5 million times. On election week, more than 1 million visited the page to get the latest results and to see what paths to victory remained for each candidate. 

Readers were able to share their own custom version of the map with friends, as well as the NBC News personalities’ picks.

Techniques/technologies used:

The project was designed in Figma, built with the javascript framework Svelte and uses javascript, CSS, HTML and SVG to deliver a fast-responding interactive experience.

What was the hardest part of this project?

The Svelte framework was a tool that was useful for building a zippy app but was a challenge for the code-writing parts of the team to learn to use. Setting up the NBC News personalities to make their picks in an organized way was daunting, but we pulled it off with good instructions and Google Sheets.

What can others learn from this project?

Each scenario explained in detail what was happening and how each change affected the electoral map. But then we let readers explore and the scenarios on their own, which let them make the project more personal than if it was just an explainer.

Project links: