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View Full Version : Where does the "Red state, blue state" thing come from?



Thomas Mauer
11-07-2006, 06:22 PM
Is this something like "them hot blooded southerners" and the "cool, calculating northerners" or where do these terms originate from? :confused:

RickLM
11-07-2006, 06:25 PM
My own theory is that it comes from the election night maps that the TV networks would post up to show which states went Repub or Dem. They all started using blue for Dem and red for Repub and the terms stuck.

Natty P, Scientific Adventurer
11-07-2006, 06:27 PM
From television coverage of election night; states that go republican are red and democrat blue.


It stuck because it corresponds with different cultural values.

Modok Gas
11-07-2006, 06:28 PM
This is fascinating: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_state_vs._blue_state_divide#Origins_of_current _color_scheme)

Origins of current color scheme

The current color scheme of red for the Republican party and blue for the Democratic party was not official prior to the 2000 presidential election. The practice of using colors to represent parties on electoral maps began with the adoption of color television in the 1960s and was reinforced with increased use of color in newspapers in the 1980s and 1990s. On such electoral maps, each state was shaded in a specific color based on which party's candidate won the state's electoral votes.

In U.S. presidential elections, nearly all states award the sum of their electoral votes in a winner-take-all contest (the exceptions being Maine and Nebraska). Because the United States has a de facto two-party system, the national colors of red and blue came to be reserved for the two major parties. A common approach was to use red for the more left-leaning Democratic party, as red is a common color for leftist causes, and to use blue for the more right-leaning Republican party, as blue is a common color in the uniforms of the business-suited conservative class. From 1972 until at least 1992, NBC consistently showed Republican-won states in blue and Democratic-won states in red. The electoral map of Ronald Reagan's 1984 landslide victory over Walter Mondale was often referred to as a "sea of blue." However, this color scheme was by no means universal. ABC, in at least two presidential elections during this time, used yellow for one major party and blue for the other. In 1976, states won by Jimmy Carter were shown by many media outlets as green--as that was the color the peanut farmer chose to represent his campaign in lawn signs and commercials.

Indeed, it was the self-chosen colors of the candidates in the 2000 presidential election that led to the current "official" nature of the colors (and in many people's mind caused the swap of the colors between the parties.) Democrat Al Gore, Jr. used a solid blue background in his advertising and logo and Republican George W. Bush used red in his. This was likely the reason why in 2000, for the first time ever, all the major broadcast networks and all the cable news outlets utilized the same color scheme: red for Republicans and blue for Democrats. In 2000, the presidential election results were contested for weeks after the election (keeping those maps on our television screen night after night) and led to the terms Red States and Blue States entering the popular lexicon. Thus red and blue thus became fixed in the media and in many people's minds.

Bill?
11-07-2006, 06:30 PM
yeah before 2000 it was sort of an unofficial thing.and then Al Gore would use the color blue in his ads, and Bush used red. so some of the news agencies adopted the colors as well. they would use white for undecided states. so most of the night they'd have a big red, white, and blue map.

Thomas Mauer
11-07-2006, 06:34 PM
I didn't think you guys had "party colors" like this (aside from the Commies and Greens). We do in Germany and apparently in Europe as a whole as well. Very interesting, thanks guys and especially Modok Gas!

NickT
11-07-2006, 06:35 PM
I didn't think you guys had "party colors" like this (aside from the Commies and Greens). We do in Germany and apparently in Europe as a whole as well. Very interesting, thanks guys and especially Modok Gas!
What are Germany's colours? Over here:


Conservatives: Blue
Labour: Red
Liberal Democrats: Yellow

Modok Gas
11-07-2006, 06:36 PM
I didn't think you guys had "party colors" like this (aside from the Commies and Greens). We do in Germany and apparently in Europe as a whole as well. Very interesting, thanks guys and especially Modok Gas!

You're welcome. I actually had no idea. It was educational :)

Thomas Mauer
11-07-2006, 06:47 PM
What are Germany's colours? Over here:


Conservatives: Blue
Labour: Red
Liberal Democrats: Yellow

Major parties:
Christian Democratic Union (conservative): Black
Social Democratic Party of Germany (labor): Red

Minor parties:
Liberal Democratic Party: Yellow/Blue
Greens: Green with a sunflower!
Leftist Party (Socialists): -- uh, I don't really know if they're still deep red. They're a merger of a leftist SPD splinter group and the PDS (successor of the East German Socialist Union Party of Germany - the pinko Commie state party ruling us for 40 years)

Fringe parties that seldomly get into power (thank God!):
Gray Panthers (elderly citizens party): Gray (duh)

Republicans (right wing extremists staying just within the system so they can't be made illegal): black, red, yellow - I think
German People's Union (just like the Republicans): black, red, yellow - I think
Nationalistic Party of Germany (more right wing extremists, close to being made illegal now): Black, red - I think

Mylazycat
11-07-2006, 07:11 PM
Since I was a kid, Canada has used blue for the Conservitive party and red for the Liberal.

Adrian B AWESOME
11-08-2006, 01:14 AM
People with a utter lack of creativity.