When American journalists talk about a senator, they reference them as "D-State.Abbr.", e.g.

Sen. X, D-Ore.

Which means X is senator of Oregon (am I right?). I want to know what does the "D" stand for?

  • I think you mean CNN, don't you? Or newspapers? D is Democrat. – Lambie Jul 19 '18 at 12:18
  • I've just seen it in the Cyberscoop – thirdDeveloper Jul 19 '18 at 14:01

D - stands for Democrat/member of the Democratic Party

R - stands for Republican/member of the Republican Party


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  • 2
    Democrat Party does not exist. – Lambie Jul 19 '18 at 12:19
  • Democrat as in representative of the Democratic Party. – bookmanu Jul 19 '18 at 12:22
  • No, member of the Democratic Party. Member. – Lambie Jul 19 '18 at 12:28

D designates the senator's party affiliation: he is a "Democrat", a member of the Democratic Party.

You will also see Sen. X, R-State, meaning Senator X belongs to the Republican party, and Sen. X, Ind-State, meaning Senator X is "independent"—not formally affiliated with either party.

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  • It is Democratic Party. And its members are Democrats. – Lambie Jul 19 '18 at 12:29
  • @Lambie Quite so, and I have modified my answer; but there's no strict rule constraining whether D-Ore is to be read as Democrat-Oregon or Democratic-Oregon. The grapheme is not a morpheme, much less a word--it represents a sememe. – StoneyB on hiatus Jul 19 '18 at 13:39
  • Yes, there is strict usage. R means Republican, as in a Republican senator or a Democratic senator. You wouldn't say: Democrat senator. Members of their respective parties: The Republican Party and the Democratic Party. Now, if the word party is not present, one can say; "He is a Republican." or "She is a Democrat". But not Democrat senator or Democrat congressperson. – Lambie Jul 19 '18 at 14:00
  • @Lambie But the D in OP's example is an unconstrained emic entity; it is constrained to a specific etic entity only in the context of a specific verbal (oral or written) utterance which paraphrases the original. – StoneyB on hiatus Jul 19 '18 at 14:21
  • I can't get anthropological here. Never mind. – Lambie Jul 19 '18 at 14:45

D means Democrat, or a member of the Democratic Party.

R means Republican, or a member of the Republican Party.

We say Democrat members of Congress and Republican members of Congress.

If the person is a Senator, so: Senator Widen, D-Ore, means; Senator Widen, a Democrat from the state of Oregon.

Reference: just know.

But for those who need references: Democratic Party

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