Chris Tombrello responds:

Wikipedia credits Tim Russert with coining “red state/blue state” during the 2000 elections. That year all of the TV news networks decided to use red/blue on their maps as a way to code the 2 parties. I’ve seen the use of colors used extensively in nations where there is low literacy, you simply need to vote for the right color when you make your X on a ballot. The Republican Party has not endorsed a color affiliation. I found this passage: This unofficial system of political colors used in the United States is the reverse of that in most other long-established democracies, where Blue represents right-wing and conservative parties, and Red represents left-wing and social democratic parties.