Why red means Republican and blue means Democrat

Why red means Republican and blue means Democrat

For Americans, the colors red and blue are
deeply linked to the Republican and Democratic parties, but it’s really only been that
way since the 2000 election. After all, this is what election night results
used to look like on American TV. -Kennedy victory, gentleman let me tell you
this. If they ever teach this machine to talk, you
and I, well we are out of business. The wide adoption of color television in the
late 1960s and 1970s changed all that. But it would still be several decades before
the media settled on the color scheme we know today -what are the hardest states to turn from
blue to red? What are the easy ones? -President Obama has won everyone of these
blue states. -He has to turn states that have been voting
blue. To understand where this red state, blue state
business comes from, let’s go back to the very first time a television network used
colored maps to report election results. That happened in 1972, which also was the
first year that a majority of American television households owned color TVs. Each of the big three networks broadcasted
their election coverage in color. But here’s what CBS did to differentiate
themselves from their competition. They created the first color election map
in American television history. And just look at Alabama on CBS’ map. That oh so reliable conservative state. It was colored pure Republican blue. No, your eyes were not deceiving you. The states that Republican Richard Nixon won
that night in his 1972 landslide victory were colored blue on the CBS map. CBS’ great broadcast innovation would soon
inspire the other networks to introduce red and blue maps to their own election night
broadcasts. For its part CBS would keep the republican
blue and democratic red scheme through the 1980 election. -For Reagan well it’s a different story. There shown in blue and this country is almost
solidly in the Reagan colors tonight. Those pairings may seem odd today, but they
weren’t back then. That’s because blue, as NPR’s Ron Elving
has noted, was a color closely associated with the Union army led by Republican Abraham
Lincoln. Red on the other hand was a color associated
leftists and left leaning parties throughout the world as it is today. In fact, NBC’s 1976 election chief told
the Smithsonian Magazine that it was British Tory Blue and Labour Party red that influenced
NBC to go with this color scheme for twenty years. -It’s beginning to look like a suburban
swimming pool over there. -Walter Mondale the winner of the state of
Minnesota colored red tonight for Walter Mondale. -It is shaping up as a George Bush map
as we look at it back there. -It certainly is Tom. -It goes into the Clinton column after having
voted with the republicans the last three times. And as you can see we color in the state of
Kentucky. ABC News on the other hand, had it’s own
state color logic: -The red states are states we have projected
having gone for Mr. Reagan. Red R reagan, that’s why we choose red. By 1996 ABC AND CBS had used the now familiar
democratic blue states and republican red states on their maps over several election
cycles. So NBC decided to make the switch too for
a very simple reason. -NBC decided to adapt the same color pattern
as ABC and CBS so as not to have a confusion for the viewers. But it wasn’t until the 2000 election that
the political concept or term “red state” versus “blue state” took hold. On that election night, the network anchors
and pundits relied heavily on the colored maps to explain to how close the race was
between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Very soon, those red states and blue states
that the country saw over and over again on TV became rooted in American culture. David Letterman was one of the earliest cultural
figures to pick up on this just a few days after the 2000 election. -The candidates will work out a compromise,
and thank God, not a minute too soon. Here’s how it’s going to go. George W. Bush will be president for the red
states. Al W. Gore will be president for the blue
states. And that’s — that’s the best they can do. Those same television maps would also help
make “red state” and “blue state” a popular term among political pundits and
newspaper headline writers. It was useful shorthand as memories of the
2000 election were burned into the American psyche. Over time, the term came to mean not just
the states that voted for Bush and Gore, but also a way to describe the cultural values
associated with American electoral geography. All this was not lost on then state senator
Barack Obama when he addressed the DNC in 2004. -The pundits like to slice and dice our country
into red states and blue states. Red states for republicans and blue states
for democrats But come election night in 2004, the term,
the coloring, and the maps still stuck. Now, you can see the red and blue terminology
all over the place in American life: It’s in modern party iconography In the names of consulting groups In coffee brands And even at this Kentucky barbecue joint. There’s even a color now for States that
could vote either Democratic or Republican. And while many may lament the divisions that
the terms have brought to the country. Maybe they should look on the bright side. At least it inspired CBS’ Harry Smith to
record this AMAZING song. -I’m from a red state. -I’m from a blue one
-We met in the middle and don’t see eye to eye. -She’s a bleeding heart
-Your’s is made of stone -Sometimes I wonder how we get by.


  1. that's cuz democrats are red and republicans are blue they switched to get the democrats the lead but it wasn't always that way and this is proof that we have been fooled the democrats where not ment to be for the people the republicans are

  2. The government really freezes time and walks to your house and draws every pixel on your tv…
    You can’t prove I’m wrong because you are time frozen…
    This is a metaphor for religion,because relgion is also based on something that can’t be proven or denied….

  3. I don’t know why, but it’s kind of unsettling seeing history being made in my lifetime like this. When I was born, something as ever present in my psyche as republican red and democratic blue wasn’t a thing. It’s good existential crisis fuel

  4. To me red signifies alarm, fear and anxiety which sums up Republican politics and blue signifies intelligence, calm and empathy which sums up Democratic politics!

  5. Red , Blue , (the only color left is White). Then you will have the Red,White and Blue states ,otherwise called the United States.

  6. …If lefty socialist Bernie wins the Democrat nomination maybe the Party Central Commitee will appropriately again demand Red this election year

  7. I'm willing to bet that far left leaning Democrats didn't want to be associated with the color of Socialism, Communism, etc. during the Reagan era.

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