Taylor Swift's Instagram Post Has Caused A Massive Spike In Voter Registration
The singer waded into politics on Sunday with a social media post encouraging her fans to register to vote before it was too late.
Since Taylor Swift flexed her star power Sunday with an Instagram post that encouraged her 112 million followers to register to vote, Vote.org has experienced an unprecedented flood of new voter registrations nationwide.
"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.
For context, 190,178 new voters were registered nationwide in the entire month of September, while 56,669 were registered in August.
In Swift’s home state of Tennessee, where she voiced support for two Democratic candidates running in this year's midterms, voter registrations have also jumped.
"Vote.org saw [Tennessee] registrations spike specifically since Taylor's post," Guthrie said. The organization has received 5,183 in the state so far this month — at least 2,144 of which were in the last 36 hours, she said, up from 2,811 new Tennessee voter registrations for the entire month of September and just 951 in August.
Guthrie said the site had also seen a big jump in the number of visitors since Swift's post, with 155,940 unique visitors in the last 24 hours — second only to the number of people who visited on National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 25 when there were 304,942 unique visitors. (The average daily user count for the site is 14,078 in 2018.)
"Thank God for Taylor Swift," said Guthrie.
In her post Sunday, Swift broke a long and conspicuous silence on political issues, writing that she felt compelled to speak out "due to several events in my life and in the world the past two years."
The pop star went on to say that though she prefers to support women candidates, she could not bring herself to vote for Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee's US Senate race because "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," Swift continued. "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 instead threw her support behind Blackburn's Democratic opponent, Phil Bredesen, as well as Tennessee Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper. And she encouraged her followers to make sure they registered to vote before Tennessee's Oct. 9 deadline. "Go to vote.org and you can find all the info," she wrote.
Vote.org is a nonpartisan website that doesn't track people's political parties when they register.
Mary Mancini, chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party, told BuzzFeed News that she found it exciting that Swift had chosen this moment to wade into politics.
"To have someone of her stature and with such a large microphone to step up and actually reinforce what we already know here is definitely going to boost the morale of people who have been told Tennesseans are divisive," Mancini said. "Having her come out and say this so publicly will make people sit up and say, ya know what, I’m not alone here."
"It's just confirming of what the state is really like," she added.
Swift wasn't the only musician encouraging voters to register before the deadline. Billy Ray Cyrus, another Tennessee resident, tweeted an acoustic version of his song “Goddess of Democracy” and wrote, "This is your chance to make your voice heard."
“I don’t think that ever in our time has the word vote meant so much,” Cyrus told BuzzFeed News. "I just think it’s a good time for people to raise their voice and know that they count, that their voice matters, and that it really does start with that vote.”
But Swift's efforts weren't applauded by everyone. When President Donald Trump learned of Swift's anti-Blackburn stance, he disagreed, telling reporters that Blackburn is "doing a good job."
"I'm sure Taylor Swift doesn't know anything about her," Trump said. "Let's say that I like Taylor's music about 25% less now."
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