There are lots of different ways to graph the vote distribution in the United States. Most of them show the voters preferences at the state level.
The problem with the typical map though is that it tends to make people think that the United States if primarily a one-party country because of the landmass of the states that typically vote Republican. Some folks have tried to correct that by creating cartograms that plot the vote by state where the states are distorted as a function of the their population. But even that still doesn’t show the real situation.
I suppose the real map would have to show the country’s electoral vote at the finest possible detail level which would probably be census blocks since they’re all about the same size. But that map just looks purple – you have to make the map too big to be able to see anything useful.
So here’s a pretty good compromise:
It’s a cartogram of the voter preference distribution (red=Republican, blue=Democrat) by county. Additionally the county sizes have been distorted so that their size is proportional to their population. (In Arizona for instance, Maricopa County, the largest county has a population more than a thousand times larger than our smallest county.)
If you look long enough at the map you can begin to get a sense of what happened on Tuesday this week.