UPDATE: Swift Sways an Uptick in Voter Registration That Has Never Been Seen
Taylor Swift’s post did more than tick-off alt-righters. It motivated newer voters to register in a big way.
Typically, there is an uptick in voting registration that occurs right before elections, but according to Vote.org Chief Operating Officer Raven Brooks, “this absolutely has been a massive 48-hour period for us and I would attribute it in large part to her. We would’ve had elevated traffic from normal because of registration deadlines happening this week, but this is an order of magnitude greater than anything we’ve seen to date.”
In the first 24 hours after Swift’s post, the site had 155,940 visitors a leap from the 14,078 average daily visitors. Sixty-five thousand new registrations, mostly ages 18-29, in that one day resulted. The number of registrations climbed to over 200,000 since Sunday.
By comparison, the group said 56,669 new voters registered in August and 190,178 registered in September. In October 2016, there were 405,149 new registrations on Vote.org for the whole month.
In the 36 hours after Swift’s post, Tennessee tracked 2,144 new voter registrations, bringing the total up to 7,554 in October a large increase from 2,811 registrations in September and 951 in August.
“One thing is clear, we’re seeing a massive surge in the 18 to 24 and 25 to 29 voters, which is her fan demographic. The 18 to 24 number almost doubled overnight,” Vote.org spokesperson Kamari Guthrie said. “Taylor Swift’s visibility on this issue is driving a lot of coverage of voter registration, and it’s reaching many of her fans who would not otherwise be following news like this.”
Somehow, white nationalists and Republicans missed, or ignored, the message that Taylor Swift has been promoting for the past 10 years it’s the opposite of their propaganda. Yet, she’s even been referred to by white nationalists as their Aryan queen.
This week Swift tweeted her support for Democratic candidates in her home state of Tennessee, clearing the air and sending the alt-right into shock, anger, and condemnation mode.
President Trump said Monday that he likes Swift’s music “about 25 percent less now, OK”
National Republican Senate Committee‘s statement said “multimillionaire pop star Taylor Swift came down from her ivory tower to tell hardworking Tennesseans to vote for Phil Bredesen.”
Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, a conservative group, said, “I don’t want to accuse her of this, but I don’t think she’s the only one who wrote that post on Instagram,” Kirk said. “She probably got some very bad information.”
The white nationalist web community, 4chan, that called her their Aryan queen, contained user remarks that also questioned the authenticity of Swift’s tweet, claimed she just didn’t want to be labeled a white nationalist, and blamed liberals for turning her into their “brain dead zombies.”
In the last decade, Swift has alluded to her political philosophies, but has never announce her political affiliation, until now.
Rolling Stone reports Swift commenting on the country “so happy” about the election of Barack Obama in 2008. In 2013, when a teen put Adolph Hitler quotes over Swift images on Pinterest, her lawyer went after Pinterest citing the images as being “harmful, abusive, ethnically offensive, humiliating to other people, libelous, and otherwise objectionable.”
In 2016, she publicly supported gun control, in 2017, she was a “silence breaker” for fighting sexual harassment on TIME’s Person of the Year cover.
In her Instagram post this week, she criticized the Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn for her objection to equal pay, the Violence Against Women Act, and equal business services and rights to marry for gay couples.
She stated in part, “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 systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent.”
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee tweeted, “So @taylorswift13 has every right to be political but it won’t impact election unless we allow 13-year-old girls to vote. Still with #MarshaBlackburn.”
And, conservative personality Candace Owens wrote that Swift was using “Black people and minorities as pawns to brainwash people into doing their bidding.”
Many reactions were fired up on both sides of the aisle, and some had humor, but others called attention to the power of her decision:
“She has over 100 million followers on Instagram and many of them are, I’d guess, first-time voters,” said Lynnette Hull, president of the Nevada Young Democrats and a student at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.
Nashville political analyst Kent Syler said of Swift’s massive following on Instagram, “Compare that to Donald Trump who has 55 million Twitter followers.”
Several celebrities “liked” her tweet, including Chrissy Teigen and Katy Perry, and Alyssa Milano, a leading #MeToo voice, thanked Swift for speaking out.