The concept of Red states and blue states refers to a mapping technique used by the mainstream media for visually illustrating the winners of states in elections, mainly the Presidential election. Under the scheme, states that vote for the Republican candidate are shaded red, while states that vote for the Democrat candidate are shaded blue.
The color scheme is the exact opposite of what is used worldwide, where conservative-leaning parties are shaded blue and liberal-leaning parties are shaded red. In earlier elections, there was no set pattern and, in many cases, blue represented Republican gains. Most notably, at the conclusion of the 1980 Presidential Election members of the media referred to the landslide election of Ronald Reagan as a "suburban swimming pool" or "Lake Reagan." As red is the color which traditionally is associated with Communism, some believe that the effort by the mainstream media on behalf of the Democrat Party to permanently impose the color red on Republicans is a deceitful effort to distance the Democrats from its increasingly socialist governance.
Most states in the South, the Midwest, and the West, along with Alaska, are red states, while most states in New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the West Coast (including Hawaii) are blue states.
The term "purple state" is commonly used to refer to a swing state. Florida is a notable purple state.