The current Red State/Blue State conundrum we are in may seem like it's been the status quo forever, but it really is a 21st century phenomenon. Don't believe us -- take a look at the electoral college map below:
The entire west coast went to the Republican candidate Richard Nixon while the Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy almost swept Dixie. Yes, the deep south states were primarily one party states back then but this still shows that the current map predictability was a far way off. The seeds of the current state of affairs were planted just 4 short years later as this map shows:
Despite losing in a landslide, the Republican candidate Barry Goldwater created a new conservative coalition in the deep south that would continue and grow until this day. We were still a few decades away, however, from the current red state/blue state map with a few swing states deciding each election. Let's fast forward to 1996:
While the map is looking closer to what we would expect today, President Clinton in his re-election bid still won what we would now consider safe Republican states such as Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Let's move ahead a short four years to the dawn of a new century:
In one of the tightest and most contested races in our history, the current battleground was drawn. For the most part, this map has held with a handful of states such as Florida, Virginia, Nevada, New Hampshire, Colorado and Ohio serving as the battleground states and a few more such as North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin capable of flipping. If you dig deeper and look at the current Republican margin of victory in states like Alabama and Louisiana, it is inconceivable that they once voted for President John F. Kennedy. Likewise, it is hard to imagine California, Oregon and Washington voting for President Nixon over Kennedy. So, how did we get here and how do we get out of the rigid political ideology that favors party over country and has the electoral college in a virtual viselike grip? That's what we'll be examining here at Syrah so named for it's purplish tint as we believe that we have more in common than apart and we can combine some red and blue elements to create a more blissful state of purple.