Love your answer odal, but I thought the colors went back furthur than 2000. I thought there was another explanation for them. in fact I'm pretty sure...but I haven't done any research on that part, so I could be wrong there. good question!
Thanks, yall! :)Democrat nickname
The mascot symbol, historically, is the elephant because a political cartoon by Thomas Nast, published in Harper's Weekly on November 7, 1874, depicted the Republican Party as an elephant demolishing the flimsy planks of the Democrats.
As for their colour being red, it’s because in the year 2000 all major broadcast networks utilized the same colour scheme for the electoral map: red states for George W. Bush (Republican nominee) and blue states for Al Gore (Democratic nominee) and now the colour red is widely recognized by the media and the public to represent the Republican Party.
"The Third-Term Panic", by Thomas Nast, originally published in Harper's Magazine 7 November 1874.