Interactive Election 2012 coverage that wowed us

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We assume that on Election Day you were, like us, simultaneously watching TV and following live blogs while issuing political quips on Facebook.

Media outlets realized that viewers like us would be furiously multitasking as the evening's news poured in, and adjusted their Election Day strategy accordingly.

An estimated 36 percent of Americans now regularly turn to the Internet for their campaign news, news sites and social networks upped the ante with their election coverage, incorporating video, on-the-ground reporting, and interactive tools such as maps.

Let’s take a look at examples of the most creative and comprehensive online election coverage. Which news site kept you informed on Election Day?

The New York Times

It’s hard to top the election night coverage of the New York Times, which featured streaming video throughout the evening, updates from polling sites across the country, maps that compared left- or right-leaning districts in 2012 to 2008, and an interactive feature called “512 Paths to the White House” that let you pick each candidate’s path to the presidency based on which states’ electoral votes they were most likely to get. It was a smorgasbord of information.

Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight blog accurately predicted the outcome of the election.

Though the Times was one of the last outlets to call the race for President Obama, it was the most thorough, if not the most up-to-date, source of election news. And let’s not forget the lure of watching FiveThirtyEight blogger Nate Silver’s heavily criticized election-math add up. (The day before the election, FiveThirtyEight accounted for 20 percent of all NYTWeb traffic.)

National Public Radio

If you mirrored NPR’s Big Board to your TV, it felt like being in a real live newsroom. The board, which was the same display seen by NPR’s reporters, showed state-by-state poll-closing times, electoral votes, and percentages as they were reported.

NPR's Big Board showcased results as they poured in.

NPR also had a map and live blog to complement its broadcast coverage.


CNN streamed its live coverage of the election online and also offered a host of features that complemented coverage.

Many turned to CNN for live streaming and interactive features.

One was an interactive map that detailed how many ad dollars the campaigns spent in each state (hint: it’s a lot of money).


In the 2008 elections, YouTube played an important role in advancing social media as a campaign tool. This year, the site ramped up its election coverage and created a politics hub with live streams from partners such as Al Jazeera, the Wall Street Journal, and Univision.

YouTube's politics hub let you stream video from multiple media sites.

YouTube’s hub also featured live updates of races across the country and a map powered by parent company Google and the Associated Press. Wednesday, the site featured news-analysis highlights of the race from its partners as part of a post-election comedown.


Four years ago, Twitter was a small but growing player in the social networking space. On election night, many Americans got their news and commentary in 140-character bits.

President Barack Obama's victory photo quickly became Twitter's most retweeted tweet.

According to Twitter, Election Day was the most tweeted about political event in American history with more than 30 million tweets. President Obama’s post-win tweet, which said simply, “Four more years” accompanied by a photo of the president hugging First Lady Michelle Obama, garnered more than 750,000 retweets, the most in the site’s history.

Our Twitter followers and Facebook friends largely turned to CNN’s site for their news. Twitter follower @jonnygoheavy says CNN “had a good thing going with their map, I liked how you could go into state detail,” though the site was slow to update, he added. Reader Nick Perkins on Facebook says Fox News updated their site more quickly than CNN and had a better interactive map.

Politico’s iPad app found a fan in follower @jsrief, who says the site's interactive maps were “awesome.”

Did any Election 2012 coverage you experienced excite you? Let us know what and why in the comments.

This story, "Interactive Election 2012 coverage that wowed us" was originally published by TechHive.

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