Red Republican

In 1843 Feargus O'Connor recruited the Chartist activist, George Julian Harney a journalist for his newspaper Northern Star. Two years later he became the editor of the newspaper. Excited by the Continental Revolutions of 1848, Harney became a socialist and he tried to use the Northern Star to promote this philosophy.

Feargus O'Connor disagreed with socialism and he pressurized Harney into resigning as editor of the paper. Harney now formed his own newspaper, the Red Republican. In the paper Harney attempted to educate his working class readers about socialism and internationalism. Harney also attempted to convert the trade union movement to socialism.

In 1850 the Red Republican published the first English translation of The Communist Manifesto. The newspaper was not a financial success and was closed down in December, 1850. Harney followed it with other newspapers including the Friend of the People (December 1850 - April 1852), Star of Freedom (April 1852 - December 1852) and The Vanguard (January 1853 - March 1853).

List of Red States (Republican States)

Symbols for red states (left) and blue states (right).

When a state is called a "red state", it means that it has traditionally voted in favor of Republican candidates. The terms "red state" and "blue state" have been in familiar lexicon since the 2000 US presidential election. If a state is not a red state or a blue state, it might be a swing state.

A map showing red states, blue states, and swing states as of the 2016 Election.

Here is a list of the strongest red states in the country:

Red States 2021

What is a “red state,” and what does it mean for a Presidential Election?

If a state is a “red state,” the voters within that state primarily vote for the Republican Party. The term is also used to describe a state that is perceived to have conservative views. Blue states vote Democratic and tend to have more liberal views.

This means that red states believe in a smaller, deregulated government and have an aversion to rapid change. Red states desire to preserve the political philosophy and regulations articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and preserve traditional morality, such as that in the Bible.

During the 1980s, the colors were reversed, and red states were democratic while blue states were republican. During the U.S. Presidential Election in 2000, journalist Tim Russert used the terms “red state” and “blue state” based on the colored maps used during his televised coverage of the election. Since that election, the media have used red for Republican and blue for Democrat.

The Cook Partisan Voting Index (PVI) shown in the table below is a measurement of how strongly a United States congressional district or states leans toward the Democratic or Republican Party compared to the national average. For example, if the national average is 48% Republican, and the Republican candidate of a state win 57% of the two-party share, then that state voted nine percentage points more Republican than the country. The PVI for that state is R+9.

According to Gallup Daily tracking numbers in 2017, a total of 13 states are solid Republican. Those states are:

Three additional states lean Republican. Those states are:

Out of these states, some are considered to be “dark red” because they [lean more Republican than the other states]((/state-rankings/most-republican-states). This includes Wyoming, the most conservative state in the United States, with a PVI of R+25. These “dark red” states can also include Utah (R+20), Oklahoma (R+20), West Virginia (R+19), and Idaho (R+19).

Red Republican - History

How a Strategy of Targeting State Legislative Races in 2010

Led to a Republican U.S. House Majority in 2013

On November 6, 2012, Barack Obama was reelected President of the United States by nearly a three-point margin, winning 332 electoral votes to Mitt Romney’s 206 while garnering nearly 3.5 million more votes. Democrats also celebrated victories in 69 percent of U.S. Senate elections, winning 23 of 33 contests. Farther down-ballot, aggregated numbers show voters pulled the lever for Republicans only 49 percent of the time in congressional races, suggesting that 2012 could have been a repeat of 2008, when voters gave control of the White House and both chambers of Congress to Democrats.

But, as we see today, that was not the case. Instead, Republicans enjoy a 33-seat margin in the U.S. House seated yesterday in the 113th Congress, having endured Democratic successes atop the ticket and over one million more votes cast for Democratic House candidates than Republicans. The only analogous election in recent political history in which this aberration has taken place was immediately after reapportionment in 1972, when Democrats held a 50 seat majority in the U.S. House of Representatives while losing the presidency and the popular congressional vote by 2.6 million votes.

To be sure, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) built on its strong recruitment and successful strategy that gave them a Republican majority in 2010 by going on offense over Democratic cuts to Medicare and by linking their Democratic opponents to President Obama’s most unpopular policy proposals.

However, all components of a successful congressional race, including recruitment, message development and resource allocation, rest on the congressional district lines, and this was an area where Republicans had an unquestioned advantage.

Today, nearly two months after Election Day, and one day after the 113th United States Congress took the Oath of Office on Capitol Hill, the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) is releasing this review of its strategy and execution of its efforts in the 2010 election cycle to erect a Republican firewall through the redistricting process that paved the way to Republicans retaining a U.S. House majority in 2012.

2010 State Elections: REDMAP’s Execution

As the 2010 Census approached, the RSLC began planning for the subsequent election cycle, formulating a strategy to keep or win Republican control of state legislatures with the largest impact on congressional redistricting as a result of reapportionment. That effort, the REDistricting MAjority Project (REDMAP), focused critical resources on legislative chambers in states projected to gain or lose congressional seats in 2011 based on Census data.

The rationale was straightforward: Controlling the redistricting process in these states would have the greatest impact on determining how both state legislative and congressional district boundaries would be drawn. Drawing new district lines in states with the most redistricting activity presented the opportunity to solidify conservative policymaking at the state level and maintain a Republican stronghold in the U.S. House of Representatives for the next decade.

To fund the initiative, the RSLC raised more than $30 million in 2009-2010, and invested $18 million after Labor Day 2010 alone. Specifically, the RSLC:

  • Spent $1.4 million targeting four New York State Senate seats, winning two and control of the New York State Senate. (-2 Congressional seats).
  • Spent nearly $1 million in Pennsylvania House races, targeting and winning three of the toughest races in the state. (-1 Congressional seat).
  • Spent nearly $1 million in Ohio House races, targeting six seats, five of which were won by Republicans. Notably, President Obama carried five of these six legislative districts in 2008. (-2 Congressional seats).
  • Spent $1 million in Michigan working with the Michigan House Republican Campaign Committee and Michigan Republican Party to pick up 20 seats. (-1 Congressional seat).
  • Spent $750,000 in Texas as part of an effort that resulted in 22 House pick-ups. (+4 Congressional seats).
  • Spent $1.1 million in Wisconsin to take control of the Senate and Assembly.
  • Committed resources to Colorado (more than $550,000) and North Carolina (more than $1.2 million).
  • The RSLC also invested more than $3 million across a number of other states including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington. (Five of these eleven states gained or lost Congressional seats).

Election Day 2010 proved to be a “wave” election nationally, in both REDMAP targeted states and others across the country. Prior to Election Day 2010, Democrats controlled 60 state legislative chambers to the Republicans’ 36. After the 2010 elections, Democrats controlled 40 chambers, Republicans controlled 55 chambers, and two remained tied. In all, Republicans took control of 21 legislative bodies and moved one from Democratic control to being evenly divided. After Election Day 2010, Republicans held majorities in both legislative chambers in 25 states – and, in most cases, control of redistricting – up from 14. The result can clearly be seen in the following chart showing partisan control over redistricting from 1980 to 2010:

Year Republican Democrat Split Commission At Large Total
1981 53 225 149 2 6 435
1991 5 172 240 11 7 435
2001 98 135 161 34 7 435
2011 193 44 103 88 7 435
Change from 2001 + 95 -91 -58 + 54 0 0

* Source: Republican National Committee, December 2, 2010

2012 Congressional Elections: REDMAP’s Impact

President Obama won reelection in 2012 by nearly 3 points nationally, and banked 126 more electoral votes than Governor Mitt Romney. Democratic candidates for the U.S. House won 1.1 million more votes than their Republican opponents. But the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives is a Republican and presides over a 33-seat House Republican majority during the 113th Congress. How? One needs to look no farther than four states that voted Democratic on a statewide level in 2012, yet elected a strong Republican delegation to represent them in Congress: Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The effectiveness of REDMAP is perhaps most clear in the state of Michigan. In 2010, the RSLC put $1 million into state legislative races, contributing to a GOP pick-up of 20 seats in the House and Republican majorities in both the House and Senate. Republican Rick Snyder won the gubernatorial race, and with it Republicans gained control of redrawing Michigan’s 148 legislative and 14 congressional districts. The 2012 election was a huge success for Democrats at the statewide level in Michigan: voters elected a Democratic U.S. Senator by more than 20 points and reelected President Obama by almost 10 points. But Republicans at the state level maintained majorities in both chambers of the legislature and voters elected a 9-5 Republican majority to represent them in Congress.

Ohio once again proved to be the national bellwether, voting to reelect President Obama to a second term in the White House by almost two points. On the statewide level, Ohioans also elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate by more than five points. But the Republican firewall at the state legislative and congressional level held. In 2010, REDMAP allocated nearly $1 million to Ohio House races, resulting in a Republican take over of the House and increasing the GOP majority in the Senate. With the election of Republican John Kasich to the governor’s mansion, the GOP controlled the redrawing of 132 state legislative and 16 congressional districts. Republican redistricting resulted in a net gain for the GOP state House caucus in 2012, and allowed a 12-4 Republican majority to return to the U.S. House of Representatives – despite voters casting only 52 percent of their vote for Republican congressional candidates.

A REDMAP target state, the RSLC spent nearly $1 million in Pennsylvania House races in 2010 – an expenditure that helped provide the GOP with majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. Combined with former Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett’s victory in the gubernatorial race, Republicans took control of the state legislative and congressional redistricting process. The impact of this investment at the state level in 2010 is evident when examining the results of the 2012 election: Pennsylvanians reelected a Democratic U.S. Senator by nearly nine points and reelected President Obama by more than five points, but at the same time they added to the Republican ranks in the State House and returned a 13-5 Republican majority to the U.S. House.

In 2010, the RSLC spent $1.1 million to successfully flip both chambers of the Wisconsin legislature. With the election of Republican Governor Scott Walker, the GOP gained control of the redistricting process and gave Wisconsinites and all of America a firsthand look at what bold conservative leadership looks like. In mid-2012, Democrats were able to regain control of the Wisconsin Senate, albeit for a period of time when the chamber was out of session. In November 2012, however, running on lines redrawn after the successes of 2010, Republicans were able to retake the Senate and add to their margins in the House. On a statewide level, in 2012, Wisconsin voters elected a Democratic U.S. Senator by nearly six points and reelected President Obama by nearly seven points, but still returned a 5-3 Republican majority to Congress, including the GOP vice presidential nominee, Representative Paul Ryan.

After REDMAP’s success on Election Day 2010, Republicans held majorities in 10 of the 15 states that gained or lost U.S. House seats and where the legislature played a role in redrawing the state legislative and congressional district map. In the 70 congressional districts that were labeled by National Public Radio as “competitive” in 2010, Republicans controlled the redrawing of at least 47 of those districts Democrats were responsible for 15, and a non-partisan process determined eight.

REDMAP’s effect on the 2012 election is plain when analyzing the results: Pennsylvanians cast 83,000 more votes for Democratic U.S. House candidates than their Republican opponents, but elected a 13-5 Republican majority to represent them in Washington Michiganders cast over 240,000 more votes for Democratic congressional candidates than Republicans, but still elected a 9-5 Republican delegation to Congress. Nationwide, Republicans won 54 percent of the U.S. House seats, along with 58 of 99 state legislative chambers, while winning only 8 of 33 U.S. Senate races and carrying only 47.8 percent of the national presidential vote.

State elections can have a big impact on a political party’s performance in future federal elections, not only by building a strong “bench” and strengthening party infrastructure, but also through the decennial redistricting process. As the largest caucus of Republican state-level officeholders, the RSLC understands the importance of this. The REDMAP effort implemented during the 2010 election cycle focused resources on critical state-level races in states projected to gain or lose congressional seats in reapportionment, and realized enormous success on Election Day in 2010. The RSLC’s vision and foresight in undertaking such an effort was further validated in 2012 by remarkable Republican success in down-ballot races, thereby allowing a Republican House of Representatives to return to Washington as an important check and balance of power in our nation’s capital.

Final REDMAP Report

Political Report: Final Report

Introduction | Shortly after the 2008 elections, the RSLC began planning for the 2010 election cycle, formulating a strategy to keep or win Republican control of state legislatures with the largest impact on Congressional redistricting. That plan, which was labeled the REDistricting MAjority Project (REDMAP) focused resources on states projected to gain or lose Congressional seats in 2011 based on the most recent Census data.

The Landscape | The 2010 state legislative elections were a referendum on the Democrat approach to the economy and government spending at all levels. In state after state, Democrat Governors and Legislatures responded to the economic crisis by increasing taxes and failing to cut spending, mirroring the approach so aggressively pursued by President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats.

In numerous legislative districts won by President Barack Obama in 2008, voters shifted away from the Democratic incumbents, preferring a strong crop of fresh new Republican candidates. In Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, for example, there were dozens of House Democrats who voted for larger state budgets and massive tax increases in the midst of a recession. In each of those states, voters gave control of the House to Republicans.

Twenty legislative bodies which were previously split or under Democratic control are now under Republican control. This includes key chambers where the RSLC devoted significant resources, including the Michigan House, New York Senate, Ohio House, Pennsylvania House and the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate.

The Execution | In total, the RSLC raised more than $30 million for the 2009-2010 cycle and invested $18 million after Labor Day, alone. Specifically the RSLC:

  1. Spent $1.4 million targeting four New York State Senate seats, winning two and control of the New York State Senate.
  2. Spent nearly $1 million in Pennsylvania House races, targeting and winning three of the toughest races in the state (House Districts 39, 54, 130).
  3. Spent nearly $1 million in Ohio House races, targeting six seats, five of which were won by Republicans. Notably, President Obama carried five of these six legislative districts in 2008.
  4. Spent $1 million in Michigan working with the Michigan House Republican Campaign Committee and Michigan Republican Party to pick up 20 seats.
  5. Spent $750,000 in Texas as part of an effort that resulted in 22 House pick-ups.
  6. Spent $1.1 million in Wisconsin to take control of the Senate and Assembly, including spending nearly $500,000 to target Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker. The RSLC was the only group to target Decker who was defeated soundly by Republican Pam Galloway.
  7. Committed resources to Colorado (more than $550,000), North Carolina (more than $1.2 million), and Alabama ($1.5 million).
  8. The RSLC also invested more than $3 million across a number of other states including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, Washington, Nevada, New Jersey and Oregon.

The Impact | Election Day 2010 proved to be an even bigger “wave” election, nationally, in addition to REDMAP targeted states. As a result, Republicans will take control of 20 legislative bodies and move one from Democratic control to being evenly divided. Since Election Day, at least 20 Democrats have changed parties including several in Louisiana, making Republicans the majority party in the House. There are now 25 states where Republicans hold majorities in both legislative chambers, up from 14.

Newly Republican Majorities

  1. AL House
  2. AL Senate
  3. CO House
  4. IN House
  5. IA House
  6. LA House
  7. ME House
  8. ME Senate
  9. MN Senate
  10. MN House
  11. MI House
  12. MT House
  13. NH House
  14. NH Senate
  15. NY Senate
  16. NC House
  17. NC Senate
  18. OH House
  19. PA House
  20. WI Assembly
  21. WI Senate

Republicans Control Both Chambers

  1. Alabama
  2. Arizona
  3. Florida
  4. Georgia
  5. Idaho
  6. Indiana
  7. Kansas
  8. Maine
  9. Michigan
  10. Minnesota
  11. Missouri
  12. Montana
  13. New Hampshire
  14. North Carolina
  15. North Dakota
  16. Ohio
  17. Oklahoma
  18. Pennsylvania
  19. South Carolina
  20. South Dakota
  21. Tennessee
  22. Texas
  23. Utah
  24. Wisconsin
  25. Wyoming

In comparison to past elections, Republicans had more success than either party has seen in modern history. Republicans gained nearly 700 seats on Election Day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, outperforming the 628-seat Democratic gains in 1974, 472-seat Republican gains of 1994 and more than doubling the 322-seat Democratic gains of 2006. Before Election Day 2010, Democrats controlled 60 state legislative chambers to the Republicans’ 36. After the November 2nd elections, Democrats control 40 chambers, Republicans control 55 chambers, two remain tied and one (NE) is unicameral/non-partisan.

Not Always a Red State: A History of Texas’ Political Transformation

Texas hasn’t always been a bastion of Republican red. At one time not so long ago, Texas was true blue and depended upon to consistently deliver victories for the Democratic party in both presidential and midterm elections. The story of how we changed is fascinating and has many twists and turns.

Blue Before

Many Texans, especially those who have moved here in the last 20 years, might be shocked to learn that Texas was the political breeding ground for some of America’s most progressive figures. These include President Lyndon B. Johnson, whose legacy would include the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, and the Great Society. Johnson was a Texas senator alongside Ralph Yarborough, another champion of American progressivism who notably supported the Civil Rights Movement and opposed the Vietnam War.

Texas would continue to elect Democrats even as their electoral votes would continually go toward Republican candidates. Lloyd Bentsen, a Democratic senator who served for over 20 years, would be reelected to his senate seat in 1988 — even as he lost Texas as the vice presidential candidate for Michael Dukakis. In fact, the candidate who instead won Texas’ electoral votes was George H.W. Bush, who Bentsen defeated for the Senate in 1970.

There’s also the fact that almost 30 years ago, Texas saw the governorship of Ann Richards, the state’s first woman to be elected governor, and a darling for liberals and Democrats across the nation. She first came to national prominence by insulting then-presidential-candidate George H.W. Bush at the Democratic National Convention before being elected governor in 1990. She would prove to be a popular governor both in her home state and on the national scene.

The state of Texas liked Ann Richards, liked her a lot, liked her on the day they voted her out of office. She had an approval rating of over 50 percent” said Reggie Bashur, press secretary for future President George W. Bush, son of the man Ann Richards famously mocked, and the man who would ultimately defeat Richards in her reelection campaign.

And though Bush, who had no prior experience in public office, was initially seen as a long-shot to beat the popular governor, he outperformed expectations and defeated Richards 53-47. Richards’ defeat would be seen as the death-knell of liberalism in Texas’ political sphere.

According to Karl Rove, Bush’s chief strategist, “The state was in the midst of a pretty phenomenal partisan shift … This change was also mirrored in a shift in most rural counties from Democratic to Republican, or at least competitive for Republicans.”

So after a century of consistently voting Democratic, what led to the moment where Texas officially transitioned from Blue to Red?

Richard Nixon and the Southern Strategy

Texas had been one of many Southern states to join in the “New Deal Coalition” after the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The New Deal involved a set of domestic programs such as Social Security, which was accused of being socialist in nature by Republicans. Though there’s likely not a word more despised amongst Texans today, that didn’t stop previous Texans from supporting Roosevelt’s program, or any New-Deal Democrat afterwards.

After signing the Civil Rights of Act of 1964 into law, former Texas senator and then-President Lyndon B. Johnson famously remarked that the Democrats had “lost the south for a generation.” And Johnson’s fears were proven correct by the enactment of the Southern Strategy, a Republican attempt to win over southern voters who were outraged by the Democrats’ support of integration and civil rights.

The Southern Strategy hinged upon codified language and dog-whistling, which stoked racial animosities among white southerners without directly announcing racist intent. It also sought to characterize countercultural movements as being subversive, dangerous, and antithetical to American values. Richard Nixon would perfect this with his 1968 presidential campaign, which ran on a “law-and-order” theme, promising to restore peace and tranquility after the tumultuous political climate of the 1960s. In his campaign ads, Nixon would constantly show clips of urban riots while promising to represent the “Silent Majority.” He would also campaign against drug-use and cultural subversion, associating these issues with the counter-cultural movement of the era.

According to Republican strategist Lee Atwater, this was a deliberate attempt to appeal to white voters’ resentment of racial progress. In an infamous interview, Atwater explained that, instead of using racial slurs, “you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, Blacks get hurt worse than whites.”

And it was an effective strategy that slowly eroded Democratic support in Texas, where progressive movements were seen as increasingly radical and disruptive. Prominent Texas Democrats, such as former governor and protege to Lyndon B. Johnson, John Connally, would officially change party affiliations to Republican by 1973. Despite being a Democrat, he had also been a fierce rival of the more liberal Ralph Yarbourough.

After serving as secretary of the Treasury Department for the Nixon administration, Connally would start an organization, “Democrats for Nixon,” before officially switching parties in May 1973, saying that he agreed “more with Mr. Nixon’s views … than those articulated by Mr. McGovern.”

That “Mr. McGovern” would be Senator George McGovern, Nixon’s Democratic opponent in the 1972 election. Connally would double-down on his support for the Republican party would be quoted as saying that “Republicans were the only group who could save the country.” He even ran for the Republican nomination in 1980 before losing to Ronald Reagan.

Democrats’ support in Texas can also be seen dwindling in the returns for the Presidential races. While Democrats won Texas in 1964 by 63.32%, their support would be cut in half four years later, winning Texas by only 39.87% in 1968. Finally, Nixon won the Lone Star State by a staggering 66.20% in his landslide election of 1972. Meanwhile, Jimmy Carter would win Texas by a slim margin 4 years later (possibly because President Gerald Ford didn’t know how to eat a tamale). Afterwards, no other Democrat would even come close to winning the state of Texas.

‘Senator, You’re No Jack Kennedy’

The Southern Strategy is an incomplete answer to the question of Texas’ political transition. Democrats would continue to be elected to statewide office for two decades until Bush’s gubernatorial victory. There’s also the fact that other Southern states have proven to be as consistently Republican as Texas. Whereas Donald Trump won Texas by 6 points, he’s on track to lose Georgia, and to lose North Carolina by only a slim margin.

So perhaps the next place to look would be to study Texas’ last Democratic senator, the aforementioned Lloyd Bentsen. While he’s most famous for his iconic “You’re No Jack Kennedy” line against Dan Quayle, Bentsen is a legend of Texas politics, having served in Congress from 1948 to 1992, before being appointed Secretary of Treasury to the Clinton Administration.

Despite Bentsen’s proud legacy, and his political recognition as one of Texas’ last prominent Democrats, Bentsen’s path to the Senate actually represented a conservative shift for the state. After serving three terms as a Congressman, Bentsen decided to run against fellow Democrat Sen. Ralph Yarborough in order to win the Democratic nomination for the Senate.

For context, Yarborough wasn’t just a Texas Democrat, but one of the most towering figures of American liberalism, a “heroic dragon-slayer of Texas labor and Texas liberals, the only one of their number ever to achieve statewide office,” as described in Texas Monthly. Yarborough was such a staunch progressive that he made enemies of fellow party members, including John Connally. However, that didn’t stop Yarborough from being reelected in 1964, even after the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

Bentsen launched a primary campaign against Yarborough in 1970 that was akin to Nixon’s law-and-order campaign from 1968. Accusing Yarborough of being radical, Bentsen’s ads would constantly use footage of the infamous Chicago riots of ’68, asking viewers if Yarborough “represented” their views. Bentsen even went as far as to imply that Yarborough tacitly endorsed the riots by supporting anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy.

Yarborough, who was more focused on defeating then-Congressman George H.W. Bush in the general election, didn’t respond to Benten’s attacks effectively. As a result, Bentsen defeated Yarborough and later went on to defeat Bush in the general election. Like Yarborough, Bush was unprepared for the centrist Bentsen, as the two candidates were ideologically indistinguishable from each other. According to Texas Monthly, “Bush and Bentsen seemed so alike they could eas­ily have passed for close relations, right down to mutual memberships in the River Oaks Country Club.”

While Yarborough’s Senate seat would still be held by a fellow Democrat, Bentsen’s campaign represented a total rejection of Yarbourogh’s brand of progressivism. In fact, other Texas Democrats would actually endorse Bush over Bentsen, fearing that Bentsen’s victory would shift the party to the right.

Ironically, Bentsen would become a Democratic star after comparing Dan Quayle unfavorably to Jack Kennedy — even as he campaigned against all of Kennedy’s values and beliefs so, perhaps Bentsen was no Jack Kennedy either.

Polarization and Hyper-Partisanship

Bentsen’s Senate race was a sound defeat for liberal Democrats, one they would never recover from. Then again, Bentsen would continue to be a party loyalist in his Senate career, and his consistent reelections gave some hope for the Democratic party.

But after the 1992 election of Bill Clinton and the Republicans’ subsequent “Contract with America,” the United States would enter an era of hyperpolarization that would further split the country along party lines. According to the Pew Research Center, “The overall share of Americans who express consistently conservative or consistently liberal opinions has doubled over the past two decades from 10% to 21% … Partisan animosity has increased substantially over the same period.”

Texas would become one of the most definitive examples, where certain key political issues would keep the GOP in power and keep the Democrats on the fringes.

Perhaps no particular issue represents the division of Texas politics better than gun rights, which would come to define the Lone Star State culturally as well as politically and appropriately so, for there’s no issue that has resonated more with Texas voters, nor one that has come to define their party affiliation. Anyone who thinks of Texas probably thinks of the ubiquitous “Come and Take It” signs that color the entire state, from T-shirts to billboards. It’s not simply a catchphrase or slogan, for Texas is the state with the highest number of registered gun owners. That’s perhaps why Texas Republicans accuse their Democratic opponents of wanting to infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of responsible gun-owners, before cruising to re-election.

The Texas celebration of guns makes sense given the state’s history going all the way back to the Battle of the Alamo. However, the modern gun-rights movement in Texas was sparked by a horrifying massacre in the early ’90s at Killeen, Texas, where a man drove into a Luby’s restaurant before fatally shooting over 20 people.

While people in many states might respond to this incident by calling for more gun control, outraged Texans decided that they needed the right to carry firearms in case they were attacked in a similar fashion. The Waco siege of 1994 didn’t do anything to quell the outrage and encourage Texans to trust the federal government, either. Texans decided that they needed to protect themselves, which led to the movement for concealed-carry permits.

However, then-Gov. Ann Richards vetoed the legislation once it got to her desk. It’s doubtful that she knew this veto would kill her chances of reelection despite her national popularity and successful economic record. Voters would go on to choose the pro-concealed carry George W. Bush by several percentage points, which ushered in a new era of gun-rights fixation for Texas politics. As gun control has become a core tenet of the Democratic platform moving into the 21st century, it’s hard to imagine Texans being anything less than skeptical of Democratic candidates in the future. According to Ed Martin, then-executive director of the state Democratic party, anyone who opposed gun-rights was “Satan incarnate” to the gun lobby.

Many other key issues would taint the Democratic party in the eyes of Texans. A state whose economy is based on the oil-and-gas economy, Texas was not keen on legislative agendas such as the Green New Deal, which the Texas Public Policy Foundation claimed would put the Lone Star State “in the red.”

Tom DeLay and Gerrymandering

Gov. George W. Bush won reelection in 1998 by the most substantial landslide of any gubernatorial race in Texas history, pulling in over 70% of the vote. After he vacated the governor’s office for the presidency, his successor, Rick Perry, would win the 2002 gubernatorial election. That didn’t cement the Republican ownership over Austin though, since Rick Perry had run as a pragmatic Republican open to bipartisanship.

“I’ve been painted as a partisan, but I’m no more of one than Speaker Laney or any other Democrat state officeholder,” Perry told Texas Monthly before the election. “I look forward to 2003 to work with people.”

This is a stark contrast from the Perry who ran for president in 2012 as a Tea Party darling who wanted to cut major departments such as Education, Commerce and Energy or the Perry who decried the Affordable Care Act as “socialism on American soil.” So what happened the following decade that enabled this brazen partisanship?

The figure who did the most to kill the Texas Democrats wasn’t George W. Bush, Rick Perry, or any other looming figure in Texas politics. Instead, it was Representative Tom DeLay, who in 2003, orchestrated one of the most seismic shifts of political representation in the state’s history.

After Republicans secured the Texas Legislature in 2002, DeLay led the charge in redrawing Texas’ districts five years before the 2010 census. DeLay’s proposed map would automatically add 5 to 7 Republicans to the Texas Legislature and would force Texas Democrats to relocate to other, more secured districts.

According to David Vance, a strategist for the representative democracy watchdog Common Cause, the Republicans “smelled blood in the water.” He went on to say that, “The Republican majority, egged on by Tom DeLay, decided to take their legislative majority for a spin and redraw the districts mid-decade.”

There was so much outrage from Texas Democrats that a group of State Senators known as “The Killer Bees” decided to not attend the legislative session in order to stonewall the redistricting efforts. In the Texas Legislature, at least two-thirds of representatives must be in attendance for the session to move forward. So, with at least 67 Senate Democrats, their absence would be enough to block passage of the bill.

At least, that was the plan. But one lone Senate Democrat, John Whitmire, decided to return to the State Senate, allowing Republicans to pass the legislation. And with that, a fatal blow was struck to Texas Democrats. Many Representatives saw their districts disappear, and the Texas Republicans ensured their control of the Legislature. According to Joby Fortson, aide to Republican Joe Barton, DeLay’s map had “a real national impact that should assure that Republicans keep the House no matter the national mood.”

Fortson was correct: the Democrats have consistently failed to regain the Texas Legislature since 2002, no matter which political direction the rest of the country headed in. Texas Democrats have challenged the legality of DeLay’s map several times, but a Supreme Court ruling in 2011 upheld DeLay’s gerrymandering. Now, with Republicans reclaiming the House and Senate after the 2020 election, Democrats’ hopes for redrawing the state’s district maps are practically doomed.

While some Democrats may have seen a pathway to statewide victory through Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign, the Democrats’ subsequent defeat seemed to halt the momentum. While President-elect Joe Biden managed to outperform expectations in certain red districts, his prospects were crushed by President Donald Trump’s success with the Latino community. As a result, Biden even lost in blue districts that had been carried by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Biden wasn’t the Democrat to recapture Texas. In fact, the record-breaking turnout this year may have hurt the Democrats more than it helped, as Trump exceeded previous support among Republicans nationwide in 2020. Perhaps the political climate makes Democratic policies no longer viable for many Texan voters but there’s a reason that both parties have treated Texas as a battleground state: the numbers are there. There is a vast Democratic presence in the Lone Star State that has been diluted by gerrymandering.

Neither party should count Texas out nor take it for granted. Texas’ history has been defined by a bold and tenacious spirit, along with brave, unabashed figures. Texas Democrats will continue fighting because that’s what Texans do.

Most Republican States 2021

Across the nation, U.S. citizens have different political beliefs. Some citizens lean more to the right – or Republican – with conservative values. In contrast, others lean more to the left and support the more liberal Democratic party.

While some states are pretty closely divided, there are others where most residents support one party. One way this is measured is through the Cook Partisan Voting Index, also known as the CPVI. This measures how strongly a state leans Republican or Democratic compared to the entire nation. Following each election, this index is updated to provide the most accurate results.

CPVIs is calculated by taking a look at the average Democratic or Republican share of the last two presidential elections compared to the national average. Results of the CPVI are broken down by congressional district and by state. By using this data, you can quickly determine which states are more Republican or more Democratic.

Based on the latest CPVI data, Wyoming is the most Republican state in the nation. Following behind is Oklahoma, then Utah taking third place.

1. Wyoming

Wyoming is the most Republican state in the U.S. Wyoming has a Cook Partisan Voting Index of +25. Wyoming’s strong Conservative lean is attributed to its large rural, white, and Evangelical populations. Wyoming has voted Republican in every Presidential election since 1952, except for the 1964 election. In the most recent 2016 election, 67.4% of voters voted for the Republican candidate Donald Trump, a 46% advantage over the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.

2. Utah

Utah is the second-most Republican state with a voting index of +20. Utah is known for being home to its highest Mormon population, resulting in many of its residents being very socially conservative. In the 2016 presidential election, 45.5% of voters voted for Trump, while 27.5% voted for Clinton.

3. Oklahoma

Oklahoma is the third-most Republican state in the United States. Oklahoma’s voting index is +20. Oklahoma has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1952 except for 1964. In the 2016 presidential election, 65.3% of voters voted Republican vs. 28.9% that voted Democratic. There are only four blue counties in the whole state.

4. West Virginia

West Virginia is the fourth-most Republican state with a voting index of +19. West Virginia has made several shifts between Democratic and Republican since it became a state in 1863, each shift lasting through several elections. West Virginia has voted Republican in every presidential election since 2000. 68.6% of voters voted Republican in the 2016 presidential election vs. 26.5% who voted Democratic.

5. Idaho

Idaho is the fifth-most Republican state in the U.S., with a voting index of +19. Generally, people in Idaho are concerned with fiscal issues such as budget deficits and lower government spending, leading to a conservative way of thinking. Idaho has consistently voted Republican in every presidential election since 1952 except for 1964. 59.3% of voters voted Republican in the most recent presidential election in 2016.

6. North Dakota

North Dakota is the sixth-most Republican state in the United States. North Dakota has a Republican voting index of +17. Since becoming a state in 1889, North Dakota has participated in 32 presidential elections and has voted Republican in 26 of them. North Dakota has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1968, including the most recent election in 2016, where 63% of voters voted Republican.

7. Kentucky

Kentucky is the seventh-most Republican state in the U.S., with a voting index of +15. In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump defeated Hilary Clinton 62.5% to 32.7%. Kentucky has voted Democratic for long periods in the past however, the state has voted Republican since the 2000 presidential election. In Kentucky’s most recent Governor election, voters chose Democratic candidates Andy Beshear.

8. Arkansas

Arkansas is the eighth-most Republican state in the U.S., with a voting index of +15. Arkansas has voted Republican in nine of the last 12 presidential elections except in 1976 for Jimmy Carter and 1992 and 1996 for fellow Arkansan Bill Clinton. In the last four elections, the Republican margin of victory has increased each election. In 2016, Donald Trump won the election with a vote of 60.6%.

9. Tennessee

10. South Dakota

South Dakota is tied with Tennessee as the tenth-most Republican state with a voting index of +14. Since becoming a state in 1889, South Dakota has voted Democratic only four times in presidential elections, the last time being in 1964. In the 2016 presidential election, 61.5% of voters voted Republican.

What does republican mean?

The word republican means “of, relating to, or of the nature of a republic.” Similarly to the word democratic , the word republican also describes things that resemble or involve a particular form of government, in this case the government in question is a republic . A republic is a government system in which power rests with voting citizens who directly or indirectly choose representatives to exercise political power on their behalf.

You may have noticed that a republic sounds a lot like a democracy. As it happens, most of the present-day democracies (including the United States) are also republics. However, not every republic is democratic and not every democratic country is a republic.

For example, the historical city-state of Venice had a leader known as a doge who was elected by voters. In the case of Venice, though, the voters were a small council of wealthy traders, and the doge held his position for life. Venice and other similar mercantile city-states had republican governments, but as you can see, they were definitely not democratic . At the same time, the United Kingdom is a democratic country that has a monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, and so it is not a republican country because it is not officially a republic.

The earliest records of the English word republican go back to the late 1600s. It comes, via French, from the Latin rēs pūblica , constructed from rēs (“thing or entity”) and pūblica (“public”). For a time, ancient Rome had a republican government with elected magistrates before the establishment of the Roman Empire . While they helped create the term we now use, the actual first republican government is believed to have been in India.

Why is red for Republicans and blue for Democrats?

In any 2020 electoral map, the color scheme is clear: Red is for Republicans, blue is for Democrats. But where did this universal agreement on color-coding come from?

It's relatively new. Though red and blue have often been used to stand in for opposing sides in U.S. political history, it's only since the 2000 election that red and blue have been assigned to the political parties consistently.

That year, The New York Times and USA Today published full-color electoral maps for the first time, and according to The Verge, they assigned the colors fairly arbitrarily.

"[R]ed begins with r, Republican begins with r," senior graphics editor Archie Tse told The Verge. "It was a more natural association."

The political parties have now embraced their assigned colors, with Democrats urging citizens to "Vote Blue!" and supporters of Donald Trump donning red "Make America Great Again" hats. But it could have easily gone the other way. According to The History Channel, the first colorful electoral maps on television were broadcast in 1976, but there was no consistency between networks as to what colors were used for which party. Red often stood in for Democrats, and blue for Republicans.

Going back further in time, red and blue were common options for differentiating political parties or two sides of an issue. For example, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, bosses of political parties in South Texas color-coded ballots red and blue for Republican and Democrat in order to "assist" illiterate or non-English-speaking voters at the polls (this assistance often involved outright election fraud, according to the Texas State Historical Association). Republicans were often red in this system, though the colors varied from county to county. According to Geography Realm, maps showing party affiliation by red and blue date back to at least 1883, though red often stood in for Democrats and blue for Republicans.

The long, arduous election between George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2000 cemented the red and blue designations for Republicans and Democrats. According to The History Channel, the major news networks "banded together" to keep the colors consistent, which made reporting contested electoral college numbers and the Florida recount a less confusing task. It took weeks to call the election, and by that time the color associations were set.

Using blue for a left-leaning party and red for a right-leaning party makes the United States odd among other nations, which often associate red with political parties on the left and blue with conservative parties. For example, the Conservative party in the United Kingdom uses blue, while the Labour party is symbolized by a red flag.

Red or Blue: How republican is Texas’ history?

Before you read, test some of your knowledge on Texas’ political history:

Modern day Texas is portrayed in a particular political light.

“Texas has this image of being characterized by cowboy conservatism,” assistant professor of history, Max Krochmal, said. “It never changes over time. Certainly, it’s a red state today.”

In actuality, Texas’ history has more blue than you would think.

“In fact, Texas has a robust liberal and progressive tradition really going back to the 19th century,” Krochmal said.

For the past eight years, he has been researching this “robust liberal tradition” in preparation for his book, “Blue Texas: Labor, Civil Rights and the Making of the Multiracial Democratic Coalition.”

The book is scheduled to be published by spring of 2016.

It is about the liberal Democratic history of Texas through the eyes of the African-American and Mexican-American civil rights movements in the 1940s through the 1960s.

A timeline of some major, Texan civil rights movements throughout the 20th century.

Information courtesy of the Texas State Historical Association and the History Channel website.

These movements, Krochmal said, were born from the Democratic Party.

However, the party’s values at this time weren’t what we think of in regards to democrats today.

While the Republican Party retreated into the shadows, the democrats had almost all of the political control. Throughout the 20th century, the party started to split.

There were the conservative democrats:

Krochmal said they were known as “the party of white supremacy–a party that was committed to maintaining what they called the traditional, southern way of life.” What we think of as Jim Crow segregation was actually invented around the late 1890s and 1900s, rather than being an old-age thing.

“And the Democratic Party was the vehicle for much of that change. All these kinds of barriers for blacks and poor whites voting, they all happened under the democratic administration,” Krochmal said.

And there were the liberal democrats:

“Gradually, more a liberal wing of the Democratic Party came to be a gathering of civil rights activists,” Krochmal said. “There were African-Americans, there were Mexican-Americans, there were whites for union leaders, as well as sort of independent liberals.”

“Blue Texas” examines these civil rights movements – of African-Americans and Mexican-Americans – and analyzes how they started to work together towards a common goal.

Krochmal said the importance of these movements in Texas is that they consisted of people in the community involving themselves in political discussion.

“The same people who were going and sitting in at the lunch counters are also the people leading the fight for better job opportunities,” he said, “and the people who are organizing the precincts and ultimately participating in the state-wide coalition.”

And it was community people who did not have much in common culturally.

“One of the key points that I’m making is that coming together was not natural or foreordained,” Krochmal said. “In fact it was fraught with peril and danger at every turn.”

“And it takes them years of relationship building and experimentation before they really come together in common cause.”

How Krochmal discovers the blue in Texas

Research for the book was collected in several ways.

Krochmal examined published records from various activists and organizations throughout Texas.

He examined papers of activists as well as correspondence between them to collect information on their involvement in the civil rights movements.

“They are all just little snippets of letters that they wrote to each other, minutes of a meeting,” Krochmal said. “All of these different activities that allowed me to reconstruct the way that these different activists were interested in building their base of their respective groups.”

He also examined “big chucks of evidence” to support these correspondences such as newspapers from the time period.

But the search for “Blue Texas” goes a little deeper than meeting minutes. It’s on a more personal level.

“I do a lot of oral interviews,” Krochmal said. “I find people who are involved in these movements, or in some cases that are children or relatives, the oldest people I can find, and I go and I talk to them about their lives.”

Krochmal has done more than a hundred interviews for the book. Some of them may not even make it into the book at all, he said.

All of the interviews have been broken up into topics relating to the Mexican and African-American civil rights movements in Texas and shared at Civil Rights in Black and Brown Oral History Project.

Interviewees were asked various questions regarding topics from their or their family members’ involvement with civil rights movements to their views on racism and segregation in general.

Brenda Fields when asked about how people can be involved in contemporary activism, replied:

“You have to give back. Freedom ain’t free.”

Bob Ray Sanders, one of the first black reporters from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, talked about the effect of the mass media on the civil rights movements as well as his experience working as a black reporter in Fort Worth.

Interviews courtesy of Civil Rights in Black and Brown Oral History Project.

Krochmal said he hopes that “Blue Texas” can be relatable to different kinds of people and shed a particular light on the civil rights movement through the Texan prospective.

“This book helps to explain the dramatic transformation and changes of the civil rights activists and the unfinished business,” Krochmal said.

Why are Republicans red and Democrats blue?

Today, citizens across the US are casting their ballots, hoping to tip the balance of their state to red or blue, but few stop to wonder from where the concepts of "red" and "blue" states stem. According to Smithsonian Magazine, red did not always denote the Republican party and blue wasn't always symbolic of Democrats — this now-common lexicon only dates back to the 2000 election.

In 1976, NBC debuted its first election map on the air, with bulbs that turned red for Carter-won states (Democratic), and blue for Ford (Republican). This original color scheme was based on Great Britain's political system, which used red to denote the more liberal party. However, other stations used different colors and designations for a variety of ideological and aesthetic reasons, which often differed from person to person.

"It was a more natural association."

The color coding we're familiar with today didn't stick until the iconic (and extremely lengthy) election of 2000, when The New York Times and USA Today published their first full-color election maps. The Times spread used red for Republicans because "red begins with r, Republican begins with r," said the senior graphics editor Archie Tse, "it was a more natural association." The election, which didn't end until mid-December, firmly established Democrats as the blue party and Republicans as the red — denotations which will likely hold fast for some time to come.

Watch the video: Mundial 2021. Dia 4 (January 2022).