Spike in voter registrations after Taylor Swift pro-Democrat Instagram post

Musician says Marsha Blackburn’s Congress voting record ‘appalls and terrifies me’

The US voter registration service has experienced a spike in numbers after Taylor Swift – long silent on partisan issues – expressed her support for two Democratic candidates and encouraged her 112 million Instagram followers to register to vote in time for next month’s US midterm elections.

Kamari Guthrie, the director of communications for vote.org, told Buzzfeed News there were 65,000 registrations in the 24-hour period after the singer posted her statement to Instagram on Sunday.

Sign up for the US morning briefing

Swift focused her post on the Senate race in Tennessee, where she is registered to vote. She stated that although she had previously voted for women in office, she felt unable to support the Republican Senate candidate, Marsha Blackburn. “Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me,” she said, adding that she would be voting for the Democratic candidates Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives.

Of the 5,183 voter registrations in Tennessee this month, at least 2,144 occurred after Swift posted her statement to Instagram on Sunday, said Guthrie. The state’s deadline for voter registration is today, 9 October, which may also have contributed to the rush. There were 2,811 new Tennessee voter registrations in September.

In her post, Swift affirmed her commitment to the fight for LGBTQ rights and described the “systemic racism” towards people of colour in the US as “terrifying, sickening and prevalent”. She encouraged her young fans to educate themselves on their local candidates and “vote based on who most closely represents your values”.

Her statement drew criticism from the Donald Trump. On Monday, the president told reporters: “Marsha Blackburn is doing a very good job in Tennessee. She’s leading now substantially, which she should. She’s a tremendous woman. I’m sure Taylor Swift doesn’t know anything about her. Let’s say that I like Taylor’s music about 25% less now, OK?”

Bredesen thanked Swift, tweeting: “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.”

Swift is performing her song I Did Something Bad at Tuesday night’s American Music Awards in Los Angeles. She has made few appearances at awards ceremonies since the release of her 2017 album, Reputation. She is nominated in four categories: artist of the year, favourite pop/rock artist, favourite pop/rock album (for Reputation) and tour of the year for the Reputation stadium tour.


Laura Snapes

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
The Taylor Swift effect: Nashville sounds off on singer's political endorsements
More than 160,000 people registered to vote after the singer backed Democrats for the midterm elections– but some in Nashville don’t like celebrities to ‘force views’ on voters

Adam Gabbatt in Nashville

12, Oct, 2018 @12:04 PM

Article image
'She just ended her career': Taylor Swift's political post sparks praise and fury
Endorsements of Democrats blasted by Republicans, white supremacists and Trump, who now likes her music ‘25% less’

Erin Durkin in New York

08, Oct, 2018 @10:31 PM

Article image
Taylor Swift returns to US court after appeal over copyright lawsuit
Swift and two other songwriters are accused of taking lyrics from a song by girl group 3LW for her hit Shake It Off

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

29, Oct, 2019 @9:54 AM

Article image
From Joan Baez to Taylor Swift: how musicians found a political voice
Taylor Swift’s intervention in the US midterm elections is all the more powerful because she is not typical of earlier activists

Ed Vulliamy

13, Oct, 2018 @3:59 PM

Article image
Taylor Swift tells fans to 'get out and vote' at US midterm elections
Singer follows up her Democratic endorsement with a political call to arms at record-breaking American music awards appearance

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

10, Oct, 2018 @10:49 AM

Article image
Who gives a hoot what Taylor Swift thinks about Donald Trump? | Letters
Letters: Readers shake off any suggestion that Swift is like Tump


28, Nov, 2017 @7:09 PM

Article image
Ticketmaster’s Taylor Swift chaos triggers US Senate antitrust hearing
Several politicians voice concerns about dominance of ticket sales company after botched release for singer’s tour

Sian Cain and agencies

24, Nov, 2022 @12:32 AM

Article image
Trump holds last-ditch flurry of rallies ahead of midterm elections
President is embarking on frenzied dash across the US with nine rallies in eight states in effort to hang onto Republican control

Ed Pilkington in New York

02, Nov, 2018 @12:31 PM

Article image
Trump attacks Democrats as 'radical socialists' and scorns universal healthcare plan
In USA Today op-ed, Trump warns of Democratic midterms win and says party ‘wants to model our economy after Venezuela’

Guardian staff and agencies

10, Oct, 2018 @1:58 PM

Article image
Trump claims 'honest vote' not possible in Florida as counties rush to recount
President called for end to legally required recount of governor and Senate races as state’s 67 counties face Thursday deadline

Erin Durkin and agencies

12, Nov, 2018 @2:05 PM