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Blue State

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.

Related: The origins of red states and blue states.