When America watches Election Day returns tonight, they’ll measure winners and losers using Republican Red against Democratic Blue. But this hasn’t always been the case.
Philip Bump at the Washington Post provides some background on this color-coordination in his latest piece, Red vs. Blue: A history of how we use political colors. Many people today would be surprised to realize this partisan designation is a relatively modern development. As Bump writes:
In 1992, David Nyhan of the Boston Globe wrote of his mixed feelings about Bill Clinton’s candidacy. “[W]hen the anchormen turn to their electronic tote boards election night,” he wrote, “and the red states for Clinton start swamping the blue states for Bush, this will be a strange night for me.” You’ll notice that those colors are backward, by our current understanding. Nyhan is being figurative we can assume, recognizing the standard red-blue split if not the significance of the colors.
Whether your candidate is represented by blue, red, yellow, green, orange or any other color, be sure to utilize your right as an American and vote today!