Democrats emphasizing the color red and Republicans emphasizing the color blue

There seems to be this trend of Republicans using campaign signs that are all in blue, and wearing blue, and Democrats wearing red and emphasizing red. The idea is probably that both parties are subconsciously trying to appeal, using these visual cues, to voters in the middle or on the opposite political side. Anyone else notice this, or think this is an intentional strategy?

Sounds like bullshit.

I’ve noticed yard signs around here are color coded for the candidate’s party affiliation, even if they have a bit of the other (to get that true 'Murican feel). I haven’t noticed anything in dress or anything though.

I thought that was just their normal branding, though I’ve no idea who decided on that - my guess is that some TV producer in the early days of colour TV just plumped for colours with which to show results on a map.

Confuses us no end, since it’s usually the left who choose red and the right who choose blue (or at least in recent years - once upon a time there were all sorts of local and regional variations, in the UK at least).

Nobody seems to put party affiliation on their signs at all any more. I have to look for the Union Bug to see who is a Democrat. No reason a Republican couldn’t have their signs printed in a Union shop, but they’d never bother to make sure the bug was on there.

Seems that this strategy would make the most sense if one is politically outnumbered, to potentially trick some unwitting voters into voting for you by mistake. So, for instance, a Republican running for office in Boston might hide political affiliation on campaign signs and make everything look as blue as possible. A Democrat running in rural Alabama would make everything as red as possible - flyers, signs, attire, ads, merchandise, etc.

Just to clarify, there are two issues here:

  1. The Democratic Party being more closely associated with socialism and its ilk, at least since the 1920s – thus, for some, with the color “red.”

  2. The random decision by some journalistic cartographer, I think in 2000, to display Bush-leaning (and then winning) states as red, and Gore-leaning (and then winning) states as blue. This happened to become the template for most US political maps and diagrams since then.

Hence the confusion. Youngsters these days are more apt to associate “Republican” with “red,” because of those maps. But neither party truly employs one color more than the other in their swag and signage, as far as I can tell.

It was the established practice of at least some US TV networks to use blue to represent whatever party currently held the White House and red to represent the opposition. Blue = establishment, Red = revolution against it, sort of. Clinton had been President 1992-2000 so blue (establishment) was the Democrats that year.

That’s how it was until the year 2000, the year when Bush and Gore deadlocked and the electoral vote was discussed ad infinitum and drilled into people’s heads in a way it had not been previously. The repeated discussions of and references to ‘blue states’ and ‘red states’ locked the colors that had been in use that year to the specific parties: blue = Democratic Party, red = Republican party regardless of incumbency.

At least nobody’s using salmon, eggshell and azure.

In the US, the connection of red with Republicans, and blue with Democrats, became established during the very contentious election of 2000. Earlier, blue had been associated with Republicans, and red with Democrats. Starting in the 1970s, different networks began using various color schemes for the two parties on election-day maps, and often alternated them between election years.

I wondered this myself when Hillary wore a red suit and Donald wore a blue tie for the first debate.

But actually I’m more interested in how red became the color for Republicans and blue for the Democrats in the first place. If you look to the far left politically and historically speaking you’ll eventually see communists, who were often referred to as Reds – and people whose opinions were left of central were sometimes called Pinkos.

So when did this switch so that right=red?

(After the 2000 election, I thought about having a t-shirt printed up that showed how each state voted in the election, with Illinois proudly blue. Tagline would have been “Better dead than red.” I suspect few young people would have understood it.)

Anny Middon, two or three posters above you explained it already in this thread.

I haven’t even seen any evidence that this trend exists. Where did you hear about this?

This talk of when the parties decided on their signature colors is interesting to me. No cite, but I remember during the early Reagan presidency that Congressional Republicans starting wearing red ties and such because it got around that red was Nancy Reagan’s favorite color, and that seemed to stick.

Admittedly my confirmation bias, but campaign signs in West Virginia, flyers/brochures in Texas, Hillary’s red suit and Trump’s blue tie, etc.

Also, Kaine and Pence wore red and blue ties, respectively, for the VP debate.

All the Hillary signs I’ve seen are blue. So are Trump’s - but he has those red hats.

As has been noted, the parties didn’t decide it. It was decided by the news networks after the 2000 election.

Lots of tie-wearing folks wear red ties, just because red is a good color for a tie. That’s got nothing to do with politics.

Also the candidates will try to appear to be “patriotic”, which means that they will try to use the colors of the flag. Sometimes they will use red, sometimes blue, sometimes both, and you will pretty much ignore the white because it won’t really register as a color to you unless you think about it.