Why are an elephant and a donkey the Republican and Democratic party symbols?

THE elephant and the donkey represent the US party systems since 1828 and 1854.

The popularity of the animals rose due to political cartoons at the time to represent the two-party system. 

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Why do the different parties have symbols?

The parties have different symbols as political cartoons identified them due to a popular phrase and an insult by presidential opponents for the 1828 election. 

The donkey for the Democrats and the elephant for the Republicans became the staple when referring to the political parties.

What does the elephant symbolize? 

The elephant has been representing the Republican party since 1854.

The idea of the elephant came about due to soldiers of the Civil War as they would use the phrase “seeing the elephant” to mean that they experienced combat. 

It became the symbol of the GOP when Thomas Nast, a political cartoonist, used it in an 1874 Harper’s Weekly cartoon. 

Nast’s drawings mocked President Ulysses S. Grant’s rumored run for a “third term” in office and portrayed various interest groups as animals, including an elephant labeled “the Republican vote.”

Eventually, the elephant picked up as a symbol and other cartoonists were using it in their work when speaking about Republicans. 


What does the donkey symbolize?

The donkey became a symbol for the Democratic party during the 1828 election. 

Andrew Jackson was running for office and during his campaign his opponents called him a jacka**.

Instead of being insulted, Jackson took the opportunity to use it on his campaign posters against John Quincy Adams.

He defeated Adams and Nast also popularized the donkey in his political cartoons about the election.


How many people have voted for the election so far?

The Presidential election will be on November 3

  • As of Monday afternoon, the US Elections Project reports that just under 30 million Americans have already cast their ballots in certain states, while voters have requested 82.5 million ballots total
  • It also shows that Democrats are voting early in much higher numbers—accounting for 53.8 percent of votes cast in those states, compared to 25.3 percent for Republicans
  • Also, 20.4 percent for voters with no party affiliation have voted early as well


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