Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Red State, Blue State: Weird Facts About the Two Big Political Parties

Posted By on Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 3:58 PM

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In the 1976 Presidential election, the color yellow was used for Ford. No wonder he lost. Yellow is not an American color! Duh.
  • In the 1976 Presidential election, the color yellow was used for Ford. No wonder he lost. Yellow is not an American color! Duh.

Republicans are Red, Just Like Communists

Strange, isn't it, that the Republican Party—former home to Communist-hunting Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy—is associated with the color red. But has it always been that way? If not, when did it start? Well, no, it has not always been that way. But what is really startling is how recently the colors red and blue became firmly associated with teh Republican and Democratic parties respectively. Smithsonianmag.com has a really fascinating article explaining that, up until 2000, the colors weren't firmly identified with either party. Apparently, "in the beginning, blue was red and red was blue and they changed back and forth from election to election and network to network in what appears, in hindsight, to be a flight of whimsy. The notion that there were 'red states' and 'blue states'—and that the former were Republican and the latter Democratic—wasn’t cemented on the national psyche until the year 2000."

That seems so recent! In fact, prior to the 2000 election, there was no uniformity in the colors used, so different TV channels and news outlets would do whatever they wanted. It was total anarchy. Oh, what a world.

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About The Author

Kristin Iversen

Kristin Iversen

Bio:
Kristin Iversen is the Managing Editor at Brooklyn Magazine and the L Magazine. She has been described as "a hipster buzzword made flesh." This seems pretty accurate.

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