I don't really think that the colors are working out that well. I'm having a hard time imagining the continuum of colors between red and blue. Mapping the variable (percentage of votes for either party) to saturation or brightness of a certain hue would be more straightforward and intuitive. Although, it would make for a pretty lousy political statement as compared to purple :)
Another way to make the two basic colors more interesting could be the delta between the state and 50% and mapping it to saturation in both directions, i.e. CA dark blue, OH light blue, UT darker red… but I'm pretty sure some news outlets already did that.