Taylor Swift gets political, sparks surge in USA voter registration

Erin O. Smith  Chattanooga Times Free Press via Associated Press

Erin O. Smith Chattanooga Times Free Press via Associated PressMore

While Guthrie cant say for sure yet how much Swift directly affected the spike in registrations, Vote.org saw a definite jump in traffic in the wake of her Instagram post.

"We are up to 65,000 registrations in a single 24-hour period since T. Swift's post", Kamari Guthrie, director of communications for Vote.org, told Buzzfeed. Tuesday is the deadline for Tennessee (and many other states) to register to vote in the upcoming November 6 election.

By way of comparison, there were 190,178 new voter registrations in the entire month of September and 56,669 in August, Guthrie said.

Swift wrote to her 112 million Instagram followers that she could not support GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn in the Senate race because "her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me".

In her lengthy Instagram post over the weekend, Swift bashed Blackburn, writing, "As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I can not support Marsha Blackburn".

Polls show the U.S. Senate contest between Democrat Phil Bredesen and Republican Marsha Blackburn, a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, is virtually tied in a state that Trump won by 16 points in 2016. She then cited Blackburn's history of voting against gay rights and the Violence Against Women Act, adding, "These are not MY Tennessee values". She voted against equal pay for women.

Look what Taylor Swift made you do.

The musician, who has long strayed out of political issues, also voiced her support for two Democrat candidates. 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.

Blackburn has not responded to the message nor Swift's assertion that her voting record is anti-woman and anti-equality. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. Of the 5,183 registrations that Vote.org has received, at least 2,144 of them came after the post, according to Guthrie.

Bredesen is thankful for Swift's support, writing in a tweet over the weekend, "Thank you for the kind words, [Taylor Swift]".

Swift wrote that the Tennessee Republican's voting record "appalls and terrifies" her, noting that Blackburn opposes reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act and supports businesses that decline to serve gay couples due to their religious views. "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".

"What I used to love about Taylor Swift is she stayed away from politics", Charlie Kirk, founder of the conservative non-profit student organization Turning Point, said on Fox News television on Monday. She represented Tennessee's 7th congressional district.

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