Mauve America

I'll have more serious things to say about the state of the United States and its election shortly. This, however, while slightly tongue in cheek, is still sort of serious.

In talking about America's strutural divide, we often hear references to "red states" and "blue states" based on whether they consistently vote Republican or Democrat. In the handful of states where the balance between the two parties is close to 50-50, we call these swing states "purple states", by mixing the red and the blue.

This amplifies the polarizing effect the American Electoral College has, where (with two exceptions: Maine and Nebraska) it awards votes for the president state by state, with 100% of those votes assigned to the candidate most voters in the state voted for.

Of course, Donald Trump didn't get 100% of the vote in each and every red state. Indeed, in Texas, often considered to be a deep red, nay crimson, state, Joe Biden made a serious challenge, held the lead through a fair chunk of election night, and came away with 48% of that state's votes. Texas is purple, albeit tinged somewhat red.

I wonder if, rather than refer to each state as "red", "blue", or "purple", we should adopt a scale of purpleness to indicate how much to the red and the blue tint each purple state lay?

I had to look at a colour wheel. States which are strictly 50-50 are thus purple, but those that lean 60-40 Democrat start to go indigo? And what about fuschia? Or mauve?

For an overwhelming majority of the country, at least 40% of voters picked Democratic candidates, and labelling these states as "red" is an act of erasure.

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