Around 1997-9, I actually had to consciously memorize this feature because it was so wrong: red is the color of the political left everywhere in the world, except the U.S.
It turns out, that while those color choices have been around for decades, they weren’t used consistently until 2000.
Is my memory wrong? No. I learned from a map posted on the 3rd floor of the Long Library at the University of New Orleans showing the 1996 election results. It struck me because it was the first I’d ever seen with county level data, showing the stark geographic dominance of Republicans: