I believe my youngest brother-in-law was born in 1986. That would make this red-state blue-state controversy undebatable since it would have been already decided before he paid serious attention to national politics:
Early on, the most commonâ€”though again, not universalâ€”color scheme was to use red for Democrats and blue for Republicans. This was the color scheme employed by NBCâ€”David Brinkley famously referred to the 1984 map showing Reaganâ€™s 49-state landslide as a â€œsea of blueâ€, but this color scheme was also employed by most newsmagazines. CBS during this same period, however, used the opposite schemeâ€”blue for Democrats, red for Republicans. ABC was less consistent than its elder network brothers; in at least two presidential elections during this time before the emergence of cable news outlets, ABC used yellow for one major party and blue for the other. As late as 1996, there was still no universal association of one color with one party.
But in 2000, for the first time, all major media outlets used the same colors for each party: Red for Republicans, blue for Democrats.