By Zoë Meeken

The latest season of House of Cards is finally out! Here at we wanted to play with history a little and put Frank Underwood up against another fictional president (Scandal's Fitzgerald Grant) in an election-style, head-to-head race to celebrate. We figured, with everything going on politically, it’d be fun to escape to the somehow-more-uplifting world of President Frank Underwood.

Underwood vs. Grant

Our Method

Scandal is unfortunately ending in 2018, with the end of Republican Fitzgerald Grant’s presidency, so you’ll have to suspend disbelief somewhat for our study. We looked at Google Trends data from the last five years (when both shows had begun) and then compared the findings to make a mock electoral map.

Here are a few observations:

  • If this map was in real life, it would be shocking for the Democrats. They would lose the liberal strongholds like California, New York, and Maryland but somehow win the conservative heartlands of West Virginia, Utah, and the Dakotas. Huh. That Fitz, winning over Olivia Pope and swarths of the American voters, even without the need for rigged machines in Ohio (á la season one).
  • Despite the states having a relatively even split (26 to 25), Fitzgerald Grant cleans up with the pretend electoral college: 407–123. Ouch. Fitz achieves this by winning the states with the most electoral college votes like California, Texas, Florida, and New York. Frank Underwood loses his home state, to add insult to injury. I wonder what Claire would have to say about this?
  • There seems to be some geographical order to the presidential choices, with the Great Plains and New England going for Underwood and the South and Rust Belt sticking with Republican Fitzgerald. As long as Fitz’s girlfriend doesn’t get kidnapped again, resulting in a war, we should be safe.

About House of Cards and Scandal

It’s undeniable that House of Cards is one of the most popular political dramas of our time with some of the most iconic characters. For those not in the know, Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey plays Frank Underwood, a tactical and dark South Carolina Democratic Speaker of the House turned president. This show’s full of well-shot, poignant scenes, sex, and murder.

The only president worthy to stand against Underwood in this kind of electoral showdown belongs to ABC and ShondaLand’s hit political thriller / outfit porn Scandal. The show was the first in thirty years to have a black female lead, and it took the world by storm with its twists and turns, and an incredibly steamy on-again-off-again relationship between the main character, Olivia Pope, and the aforementioned president Fitzgerald Grant (Fitz). There’s a lot of of riling speeches, sex, and murder.

As a big-time West Wing fan myself, I found the blend of politics and drama fascinating on these newer shows. It's interesting to note that, while much of the suspense on the West Wing in the early 2000s came from laws, big personalities on Capitol Hill, the constitution, and filibusters, the explosion of political television in recent years has veered more towards sex, murder, terrorist moms, and more murder.