A “blue state” is one whose voters elect primarily Democratic candidates.
It is the opposite of a red state, which elects primarily Republican candidates.
There are different levels of how ‘blue’ a state can be. If a Democratic candidate wins the vote in that state, that state has ‘turned blue.’ If a state votes for a Democrat in nearly every statewide race, it could be considered a ‘deep blue’ or ‘dark blue’ state (New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, etc.).
If a state typically votes Democrat but will occasionally vote for a Republican, they are known as a ‘light blue’ state (Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, etc.).
There is no hard and fast rule as to what makes a state dark or light blue. Some people may consider Colorado or New Mexico light blue states, and others may consider them swing states.
Conversely, some people may consider Maine or Minnesota dark blue states, but others may consider them light blue due to their potential to switch in an upcoming election.
Use of “Blue State” in a sentence
- The progressive policies advocated by the candidate found fertile ground in the blue state, garnering widespread support among the electorate.
- In recent years, the blue state has been a bastion for climate change initiatives, passing several groundbreaking environmental regulations.
- With its history of leaning Democratic, the blue state is being closely watched as a bellwether for national sentiment on the administration’s policies.
Taegan Goddard is the creator of the Political Dictionary.
Goddard spent more than a decade on Wall Street as managing director and chief operating officer of a prominent investment firm in New York City. Previously, he also served as a policy adviser to a U.S. Senator and Governor.
Goddard is also co-author of You Won – Now What?: How Americans Can Make Democracy Work from City Hall to the White House, a political management book hailed by prominent journalists and politicians from both parties.
His essays on politics and public policy have appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines across the country.
Goddard earned degrees from Vassar College and Harvard University.
He lives in New York with his wife and three sons.