12/11/2011 04:43 pm ET | Updated Dec 11, 2011

GOP Candidates Stick To Red Ties At Debate (PHOTOS)

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney stood out at last night's GOP debate, mainly for his $10,000 gaffe.

But we couldn't help but notice the former Massachusetts governor's other major distinction: a blue tie.

While its exact point of origin is murky (many cite the 2000 election), the color-coding of American politics has become common knowledge: red for Republicans, blue for Democrats. The primary-hued shorthand has extended from election night dry-erase boards to candidates' closets, as male candidates have been known to indicate their party alignment by tie color.

And though it's not an exact science (plenty of Dems wear red and GOP members wear blue), the red-blue divide was on full display at last night's GOP debate -- with one exception. Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Ron Paul all wore red ties, while Mitt Romney wore light blue.

Michele Bachmann, for the record, wore a royal blue blouse.

Romeny's blue wasn't too surprising, as it's been his go-to hue throughout the debates. Men's fashion expert Hendrik Pohl, the CEO of, told ABC, "Blue is the color that people most commonly name as their favorite color and it has very calming effect on people" -- and sure enough, eight out of the ten major debates have seen Romney in the safe color.

But playing it safe actually made Romney the odd man out last night. We were so bummed to see the sea of red between the rest of the male candidates. As Lisa A. Kline, Sarah Palin's former stylist, told the Post, "Red is being overused... There's been a solid theme going on with most of the candidates."

What gives? Afraid of standing out, Newt? Is wearing anything other than red an affront to Texas, Rick? Trying to prove your Republican affiliation, Ron?

See pics of the candidates' ties below... what style of ties would you like to see at the next debate?

GOP Debate- Red Ties