- Why the Color Red Is Associated With Republicans
- You'll Never Guess Why Republicans Are Red, Democrats Blue
Why the Color Red Is Associated With Republicans
Why Did the Democratic and Republican Parties Switch Platforms?does
David Scott Kastan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence. Blue of course symbolizes the Democratic party, while red represents the GOP. Of course, there has always been color-coding in individual political campaigns. But for years, both major parties used the full panoply of American red, white and blue for their own self-identification. With the spread of color television in the late s , color-coded electoral maps were incorporated into election coverage, but neither red nor blue had been assigned a permanent side. So depending on the election or the network, red and blue were variously assigned to Democrats and Republicans.
The color associated with the Republican Party is red, though not because the party chose it. The association between red and Republican began with the advent of color television and network news on Election Day several decades ago and has stuck with the GOP ever since. You've heard the terms red state, for example.
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The drama over the Electoral College and popular vote split caused political chaos during the election, but those turbulent days led to at least one orderly solution. That's when television networks banded together to color Republicans red on their electoral map graphics and Democrats blue. The color associations had nothing to do with politics or patriotism. And both parties were apparently reluctant for many years to be associated with the color red. All rights reserved. Play ABC News. Interested in Elections?
It was early October, , the month before the map was to debut—live—on election night. At the urging of anchor John Chancellor, NBC had constructed the behemoth map to illustrate, in vivid blue and red, which states supported Republican incumbent Gerald Ford and which backed Democratic challenger Jimmy Carter. Although the map was buttressed by a sturdy wood frame, the front of each state was plastic. We then had to bring in gigantic interior air conditioning and fans to put behind the thing to cool it. That solved the problem.
You'll Never Guess Why Republicans Are Red, Democrats Blue
Happy Election Day. This morning I voted at my local polling station, which is in an agricultural community center I live in farm country. The lawn was festooned with signs for both the Democratic and Republican candidates for my congressional district--and surprisingly, both signs were overwhelmingly blue in color.