US midterms: What does GOP stand for? Is it the same as the Republican party? What is the GOP in the USA?

The Republican Party in America is often referred to as the GOP.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump  makes an entrance at the Rally To Protect Our Elections conference on July 24, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Phoenix-based political organization Turning Point Action hosted former President Donald Trump alongside GOP Arizona candidates who have begun candidacy for government elected roles. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
Former U.S. President Donald Trump makes an entrance at the Rally To Protect Our Elections conference on July 24, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Phoenix-based political organization Turning Point Action hosted former President Donald Trump alongside GOP Arizona candidates who have begun candidacy for government elected roles. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Indeed, the social media for the party in @GOP – with the party often referred to by the letters.

Despite the confusion for some, the GOP is simply a nickname or acronym for the Republican Party.

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But what does the GOP stand for and how did the name come about?

Here’s everything you need to know.

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What does GOP stand for?

In American politics, GOP stands for "Grand Old Party" and is often used to describe the Republican Party.

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The party was originally known as the Democratic-Republican Party before divisions in the 1830s led to the formation of the stand-alone Republican Party 20 years later.

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US midterm elections: When are the US midterm elections, how do they work and wi...
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While there is no definitive answer, the most popular explanation is that a reported coined the nickname.

The original Republican Party was made up mostly of abolitionists opposed to slavery – but following the Civil War, the election of Benjamin Harrison and a majority of Congress in 1888 saw a writer for the Chicago Tribune describe the triumph as an accomplishment by the "Grand Old Party.”

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The phrase was shortened and GOP began showing up in stories about Republicans.

Another story about the history of the acronym is that in 1875 they were referred to as a "gallant old party".

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Why do the Republicans use the elephant as their symbol?

The mascot of the GOP is an elephant, with 1874 Harper’s Weekly political cartoon by Thomas Nast coining the token as a joke.

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The cartoonists drew the Democrats who were represented as donkey trying to scare the Republican party, which he represented as elephants.

The political cartoon clearly sat with both parties, who adopted the mascots.