Let’s take a look at three awesome graphics that have appeared in the Washington Post over the past two days…

REPUBLICAN DELEGATES

I was so delighted to find this graphic in Monday’s Post. As I wrote in an article for Poynter a while back, the Republican nomination isn’t about state maps that get colored in, county-by-county. It’s about delegates.

It’s about the race to 1,144 delegates, to be precise.

This huge diagram lays out the opportunities the four remaining candidates have to capture those delegates and to win the right to face President Barack Obama in the fall.

Let’s start in the middle of that yellow area. That little piece explains that some GOP delegates are earned by winning a proportion of a state’s overall vote. But some delegates — like the Electoral vote in the fall — are won on a winner-take-all basis.

Now, let’s leap to the bottom left corner. Three stacked bar charts show you cumulative totals of many delegates each candidate has earned so far. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum won most of the delegates in Iowa and New Hampshire, but Newt Gingrich picked up 23 last week in the winner-take-all state of South Carolina. Giving him the lead going into today’s Florida primary.

Moving to the right, you see the delegates again, broken down contest-by-contest, state-by-state. Again, you begin to see just how significant Gingrich’s victory was last week. And why South Carolina — as a winner-take-all state — is so important in the process.

But just look at the dots representing the 50 delegates at stake today. Florida, too, is a winner-take-all primary. Whoever wins today is going to have a huge lead going into February.

Just to the right of that, you see the ten states that make up the Super Tuesday GOP primary. A total of 437 delegates are at stake that day. More than a third of what a candidate needs to sew up the nomination.

The large chart up top shows the cumulative number of delegates at state over time, compared to the total number of delegates needed to win the nomination.

At bottom left are the three contests already held.

Note the little labels at bottom right that show at what point in the process previous nominees clinched the GOP nomination. John McCain went over the top around March 4 2008, the graphic shows, the earliest ever.

In all this piece by staffers Todd Lindeman, Aaron Blake and Karen Yourish is a terrific way to look at the delegate count. The graphic dominated Monday’s Campaign 2012 page, page A5.

Find the online version of this graphic here.

TODAY’S FLORIDA PRIMARY PREVIEW

For each caucus and primary so far — in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina — the Post has given readers a preview of the race and what to look for around the state.

Staffers Ted Mellnik, Bill Webster and Karen Yourish did the same in today’s paper.

In addition to the geographical commentary and the roundups for each individual candidate, the Post again looked at how many events each candidate held in various spots around Florida.

And, of course, there is the obligatory look at polling data from last fall and running up through Sunday.

This package appeared at the top of today’s Campaign 2012 page, page A4.

Find the online version of the graphic here. Find the Post‘s political coverage here.

But — as they say — wait! There’s more!

The protesters camping out in D.C.’s McPherson Square were threatened with eviction by the National Park Service. In order to avoid that, the Occupiers had to remove their sleeping and cooking gear from the site.

The Post‘s Patterson Clark produced a hand-drawn, four-column diagram that lays out the protest site and updates us on what’s going on there.

The only place Patterson used color in his diagram was on that big tent in the center — the one they’re calling the Tent of Dreams.

The tent is strung atop the statue of Civil War Gen. James McPherson, as you can see from this picture by Post staffer Ricky Carioti.

Here’s what it looks like from inside the Tent of Dreams. This picture, too, is by Ricky Carioti.

That second photo led page one today. The first picture was lead art on page A10. The diagram ran at the bottom of the jump page.

 

Find the online version of the graphic here. Find a photo gallery here. Read the Occupy D.C. story here by staffers Monica Hesse and Paul Farhi.

Terrific work today by the Post.

Average daily circulation for the Washington Post is 507,465.