Download this 2018 Election data file

Getting the FIPS Codes Right in Excel

The county FIPS codes will be used to join attribute data to your county geometries.

FIPS code needs to be 5-digits

Insert a blank column to the right of the original FIPS column.

Select the blank cell next to the first FIPS number. Type "=C2+1000000".

Then click and drag down at the green box in the bottom right corner of the cell. Release at row 3115.

This is to add zeros to the beginning if some FIPS are not 5 digits.

Insert another blank column to the right of the new column, take the text characters of the 5 right-most in the string.

Select the blank cell next to the first number of the last column we made. Click the fx button.

Select Right. In the formula builder, click into the Text box and click cell D2: this should be the first FIPS number plus 1000000. In the num_chars box, type 5. Click done.

Then click and drag down at the green box in the bottom right corner of the cell. Release at row 3115.

Title this new column "FIPSTxt", the original fips column "old_fips", and the first column we made "math"

Make the FIPS column a Text column. Save as an .xlsx file and close. Move to desktop.


Access Windows desktop. Bring the spreadsheet from the Mac desktop to the Windows desktop's MyData folder.

Open ArcMap. Start blank project. File>Save as "DataJoin" ArcDocument in MyData folder.

In the home section of the catalog, expand the AWSdata.gdb. Bring in the counties with the generalized boundary.

Right-click on the county layer, go to Joins and Relates, and select Join.

In the Join window, select FIPSTxt for number 1, select the spreadsheet we just edited for number 2, select FIPSTxt for number 3, and select "keep matching records". Click validate Join. You should get all green checkmarks.

Click Join and wait.

Once the join is complete. Make the state outlines.

Go to geoprocessing then dissolve. Select the counties layer. Save it in the AWSdata.gdb as generalstates. Check the box next to states. Click ok.

Once the dissolve is complete, make your state outlines hollow and 1 pt outline width.

Double click on the county layer and go to the symbology tab, then quantities and graduated colors. Use one of the newly joined columns to style your map. Remember to normalize if needed.

Choose a color ramp, change classes to five, and choose a classification method.

Get your highest values lined up with your most intense color. Represent your values as percentages. And, set the decimal places to 2.

Project to Albers Equal Area Conic and save. Export US 48, Alaska, Hawaii, and legend as .ai files.

Design in Illustrator

Move .ai files to Mac desktop. Create an aesthetically pleasing map layout in Illustrator. Remember to release clipping masks.