The 2022 US midterm elections are currently underway, and both the Republicans and Democrats are of the opinion that their party will be the one who will emerge victorious in both the House and the Senate. Two terms that have been doing the rounds on social media on the day of polling are “Red Wave” and “Blue Tsunami”, in apparent references to the Republicans and Democrats, respectively.

Here we try to explain the meaning and origin behind these two terms:

The Red Wave

The Red Wave is a term that has often been used to describe a GOP sweep in the elections. It is difficult to pinpoint one particular date or occasion when the term was first used. The Republican Party’s colour is red, and political figures like Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Colorado’s 3rd Congressional district GOP candidate Lauren Boebert have been tweeting with the term.

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While Paul tweeted a picture of him and his wife outside a polling station with the caption, “We voted today! We’re ready for the red wave! Let’s go Kentucky”, Boebert said about election day, “Today is Red Wave Day!”

The Blue Tsunami

While the Republican candidates and their party loyalists are running with the term Red Wave, the Democrats, who currently hold both the House and the Senate, are optimistic about a Blue Tsunami, or a metaphoric tidal wave, that would sweep the majority of seats in their favour.

Michael Moore, the left-wing activist and documentary filmmaker, is one of the major voices behind the term Blue Tsunami. According to his official website, the filmmaker has said that during the ongoing midterm election, voters will “descend upon the polls en masse — a literal overwhelming, unprecedented tsunami of voters — and nonviolently, legally, and without mercy remove every last stinking traitor to our Democracy”.

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Supporters of the Democratic Party have also taken to the Blue Tsunami trend, and have been posting on social media using this term. Erica Marsh, an Obama Foundation volunteer, tweeted, “I have never been more confident of a BLUE TSUNAMI sweeping over the country today. I predict Democrats will win at least 53 seats in the Senate and 230+ in the house.”