Taylor Swift's Political Post Sparks Voter Registration Surge
After the pop star endorsed two Democratic candidates — and urged her 112 million Instagram followers to vote in this year's midterm elections — Vote.org saw a massive spike in registrations.
It hasn't even been two days since Taylor Swift urged her 112 million Instagram followers to register to vote in a politically charged post, in which she also endorsed two Democratic candidates. The Nashville pop star broke her political silence and ended her message with a plea for her followers to "educate" themselves on the candidates running in their own states — and encouraged them to make their voices heard in this year's midterm elections.
According to stats from Vote.org, the Swifties listened.
"We are up to 65,000 registrations in a single 24-hour period since T. Swift's post," said Kamari Guthrie, director of communications for Vote.org. As of 11 am ET on Tuesday, about 48 hours after Swift's post, more than 240,000 people have registered.
That number is significant, given that 190,178 new voters were registered nationwide in the entire month of September, while 56,669 were registered in August. Swift's home state of Tennessee also saw a prominent jump in voter registrations. Vote.org has counted 2,144 registrations in Tennessee alone in the past 36 hours — an increase from 2,811 new Tennessee voter registrations for the entire month of September and just 951 in August.
Guthrie said that Vote.org also saw an unprecedented amount of traffic to their site after Swift's post. In the first 24 hours following Swift's Instagram, 155,940 unique visitors clicked on the page — the site's second biggest traffic number since National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 25 when there were 304,942 unique visitors.
In her Sunday post, Swift — who has kept her political views hidden for years — explained why she could no longer stay silent in today's cultural climate.
After saying she was voting for Phil Bredesen, a Democrat running for U.S. Senate in Tennessee against the Republican candidate, Marsha Blackburn — who has fought to end gay marriage and advocated against abortion rights — the singer explained to her fans why it's more important than ever for them to cast their ballots in November.
"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," Swift wrote in part. "These are not MY Tennessee values."
Swift also said that she would be voting for Democrat Jim Cooper for the House of Representatives. Some of Swift's conservative fans lambasted her for taking a political stand — and President Donald Trump, a longtime fan of the pop star, said he likes her music "about 25 percent less" now. But, on the other side, Swift was widely applauded — by both fans and public figures — for speaking out.
For his part, Bredesen thanked Swift for her support in a tweet. "Thank you for the kind words @taylorswift13," he wrote. "I'm honored to have your support and that of so many Tennesseans who are ready to put aside the partisan shouting and get things done. We’re ready for it."
And Rob Reiner praised Swift for going public with her views, given her influence. "A big shout out to @taylorswift13. for speaking out. You can single handedly change this country. Impress on your fans how critical and powerful their voices are," the filmmaker tweeted. "If you get them to the polls on Nov. 6, everything you care about will be protected. #VOTE"