Ari Lamstein

Announcing the R Election Analysis Contest

Today I am happy to announce the R Election Analysis Contest. The goal of the contest is to encourage and promote high quality reproducible research in R that focuses on elections. The winner will be featured on my blog and receive a free copy of my course Mapmaking in R with Choroplethr as well as a copy of Hadley Wickham’s book Advanced R.

Why a contest?

As I write this, the US Presidential Primary is dominating the news. What strikes me about the news is how analytical the discussion is. Major themes seem to be:

  • The demographics of each voting region
  • How different demographics are attracted to each party
  • How different demographics are attracted to each candidate within each party
  • How the above change over time
  • The math behind delegates and winning both primary nominations and general elections

A major interest I have is using R to verify claims that I hear in the media. I’ve been wanting to explore voting related issues in R for a while now. And when I read pieces by Julia Silge (1, 2, 3) and Duncan McIntosh (1) I see that I am not alone.

Rather than spending a week or two on my own analysis, I think that it would be better to run a contest. If the contest gets even a modest number of entries, then I will probably enjoy reading them more than I would enjoy writing my own.

How do I enter?

To be considered, your entry must:

  1. Be published online by Saturday April 16, 2016. If you have a blog, you can publish it there. You can also use rPubs, which is free.
  2. Leave a comment on this page with a description and link to your entry. I will personally read each entry.
  3. Your entry must contain an analysis that is both written in R and reproducible. That is, you must write code that works and use data that other people can load. Think of yourself as both writing an analysis and teaching other people how you did it.
  4. Winners will be announced on my blog on Monday, April 18 2016.


  1. Can I submit more than one analysis? Sure.
  2. Can I analyze an election other than the 2016 US Presidential election? Sure. It can be about a past election, an election for another office, or even an election in another country.
  3. Can I enter as a group? Sure. In the case that a group wins all members will get a free copy of Mapmaking in R with Choroplethr. But I can only afford to buy one copy of Advanced R.
  4. Do you have any ideas for analyses to do? Yes, but I’d rather not share them. I’m certain that someone reading this has an interesting idea that I haven’t even considered. I’d rather encourage that person to publish and submit their own analysis.
  5. How can I get in touch with you? Via twitter or email.
  6. How can I support the contest? Click the “share” buttons on this page to share it with your friends. Or click the button below to tweet about it:

[bctt tweet=”Announcing the R Election Analysis Contest #rstats #ddj #opendata”]


Ari Lamstein

Ari Lamstein

I currently work as a Staff Data Science Engineer at a marketing analytics consultancy. I have 20 years experience developing software in areas such as data science, web development and video games. I have also worked as a technical trainer and independent consultant.

Thanks for visiting!

Sign up to stay up to date with the latest blog posts: