Published: Wed, October 10, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Matthew Castillo

Can Taylor Swift inspire young nonvoters to vote? You bet

Can Taylor Swift inspire young nonvoters to vote? You bet

Republicans now have some bad blood with the star after a surprise endorsement on Instagram Sunday night for Tennessee Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen and an argument against Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn.

The Speak Now singer said she was a supporter of gay rights and women's rights, and against racism.

After 24-hours and almost two million Instagram likes later, Vote.org said Tennessee voter registration jumped 65,000 in a day.

Taylor Swift's politically-charged post sparks a surge of voter registrations. Swift already stands out from her peers as having the most politically diverse fan base among young Americans, and I would not bet against her helping register, empower and activate just enough of them to make a difference in November, for them and the country.

Swift's reach is massive, she has nearly 30 million more Twitter followers than President Donald Trump and has acquired a loyal fan base since her first album released 12 year ago.

Taylor Swift made her political preferences public for the first time this week and it seemingly sparked mass voter registration. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN.

She supported Democratic political candidates in Tennessee in an Instagram post over the weekend, and the post has since drawn responses from conservative political commentators and President Donald Trump, among others.

She singled out for criticism Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican running for the US Senate seat vacated by Bob Corker, because "She voted against equal pay for women".

"For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100 percent on every issue, but we have to vote anyway", Swift wrote. "I don't think it's going to hurt her career".

There was an even more pronounced spike in Swift's home state of Tennessee.

Model Chrissy Teigen, actress Blake Lively and singer Perry were among those adding "likes" to Swift's Instagram post.

Two years ago, Democrats turned million-dollar performances by pop icons such as Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Pharrell, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, Bon Jovi and Katy Perry into zero electoral votes.

Grammy victor Rihanna in an Instagram post today also urged fans to register to vote - the last day in 14 states for citizens to register.

Prior to Trump's presidency, it appears as though he was, in fact, a fan of Swift's. Candidates seeking to take maximum advantage of what is a quantifiable increase of interest among young voters in the final weeks of the campaign would be wise to follow Swift's framework. "And let's say that I like her music 25 per cent less now, okay?"

Praising Blackburn, he told reporters at The White House: "I'm sure Taylor Swift has nothing, (sic) or doesn't know anything about her".

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