Taylor Swift’s New Wins: Voter Registration
Mega popstar Taylor Swift has triggered record numbers in music sales, but now she has done similarly in the political arena.
According to data from Vote.org, Swift’s political voice, urging her followers to vote, has likely influenced more than 100,000 new voter registrations in the last 48 hours. Seventy percent of the new registrants were below the age of 25.
Done with standing on the sidelines watching the political game unfold, Swift took to Instagram on Sunday to tell her 112 million followers her thoughts:
View this post on Instagram
I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈
She threw her support behind two Democratic candidates in the upcoming midterm elections in Tennessee. She said she cannot give her support to Marsha Blackburn, a Republican congresswoman running for Senate. Rather, she will be giving her vote to two Democrats: House of Representatives candidate Jim Cooper and Senate candidate Phil Bredesen.
Bredesen took to Twitter to show the pop star his appreciation:
Thank you Taylor for your endorsement and for using your platform to encourage people in Tennessee and across the country to register to vote. Good luck tonight at the #AMAs pic.twitter.com/m6S3DinX87
— Phil Bredesen (@PhilBredesen) October 9, 2018
In her Instagram post, Swift cited her reasons for not supporting Blackburn, stating that the congresswoman, “voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values.”
Swift, 28, used her acceptance speech for artist of the year at the American Music Awards on Tuesday night to encourage her fans to vote. “This award and every single award given out tonight were voted on by the people, and you know what else is voted on by the people?” Swift asked the audience. “It is the midterm elections on November 6. Get out and vote. I love you guys.”
As for the extent of Swift’s endorsement of Democratic candidates, it isn’t known. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that millennials are one of the most liberal generations in the U.S. and a majority of them support Democrats in their districts. In regards to President Trump’s job performance, only 27 percent of millennials gave their approval.
Of course, there is also the matter of young voters not showing up to cast their votes. For the past four midterm elections, there was only a rate of 20 percent of young individuals in the 18 to 24 demographic.
However, all that has the potential to change with Swift’s statement. The pop star has been a role model to many young and preteen girls. In fact, a majority of “Swifties” were in their preteen years when Swift’s career was just taking off and are now at the legal age to vote. Vote.org Director of Communications Kamari Guthrie told Buzzfeed News that, in the 24-hour timeframe following Swift’s Instagram post on Sunday, 65,000 people made their registrations.
With all this mad love from Democrats, there appears to be some bad blood between Taylor Swift and the Republican party. Charlie Kirk, head of Turning Point USA, a right-wing organization, told Fox and Friends that Swift should stick to what she’s good at, singing:
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) October 8, 2018
Even President Donald Trump was against Swift’s stance, calling her an uniformed voter and telling reporters at the White House on Monday that his interest in her music has dropped: “Let’s say that I like Taylor’s music about 25 percent less now, okay?”
Speaking of the aforementioned bad blood, it seems Kanye West, with whom Swift has a less than pleasant history, has gotten on the bandwagon too, albeit indirectly. Candace Owens, Turning Point USA’s communications director, applauded West’s support of Trump when he gave an impassioned speech regarding the president on Saturday Night Live last month:
Kanye West is one of the bravest man in Hollywood right now. He was booed off stage last night for openly supporting Trump and telling the truth about the Democrats breaking down black families.
PLEASE RETWEET TO SHOW @kanyewest LOVE AND SUPPORT!https://t.co/NOAwWBOYRt
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) September 30, 2018
Swift hasn’t yet commented on the reaction to her endorsement of the Democratic candidates, but if her relationship with the Republican party does go down in flames, there might be a song about it. If there’s a blank space, maybe Swift will write their names.