Pop star Taylor Swift got publicly political on Sunday, announcing for the first time her support for Democratic candidates and encouraging her fans to vote.
"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," Swift wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday.
That's a big change from the 2016 election, when Swift kept her political preferences to herself.
And after Clinton lost, some people wondered if Swift's support could have made a difference. Young people, white women, country music fans — a coordinated Swiftie voting bloc may have helped Democrats in areas where they'd struggled to earn support or get voters to turn out.
Since Swift has long incorporated feminism into her image, people wondered why she hadn't spoken out about Donald Trump's record with women.
(The social media haters were wrong, Todrick Hall said in an interview last year. "They’re making this huge assumption, when Taylor has never to my knowledge come out and said anything about her being pro-Trump.")
So now, less than a month before the midterm elections, Swift is finally putting her opinions out there.
"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," she wrote. "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," she added.
She still didn't mention Trump, but Swift, who has a home in Nashville, said she's opposing his pick for Senate in Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn.
"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," Swift wrote. "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."
Swift added she'd also be supporting Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen and Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper for Congress.
"I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives," she said. "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."
And, Swift added, this election was going to be different than 2016.
She encouraged her young fans in particular to make sure they were registered to vote.
"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! 🗳😃🌈"