Pop star Taylor Swift endorsed two Democrats this week in a surprise Instagram post that upset many Trump supporters who assumed she was a secret Republican. And Swift’s endorsements are having a real impact. According to Vote.org, the number of voter registrations has gone through the roof.
“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.
How big of a spike is that? Precisely 190,178 voters registered on the site in all of September, or roughly 6,000 per day. A small percentage of that uptick in registrations can be attributed to the fact that many voter registration deadlines are this week. But organizers at Vote.org believe that the vast majority of the credit should go to Swift.
“Thank God for Taylor Swift,” Guthrie said.
In the Instagram post that started it all, Swift explained that she’d been reluctant to voice her political opinions in the past, “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 is registered to vote in Tennessee, a state that specifically saw a tremendous spike in new voter registrations. 2,144 people registered to vote in Tennessee during the past 36 hours, almost as many as the entire number of voter registrations in Tennessee during all of September.
“I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent,” Swift wrote in her Instagram endorsement. “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.”
Swift went on to endorse two Tennessee Democrats, Phil Bredesen for the U.S. Senate and Jim Cooper for the U.S. House. Swift explained that Tennessee’s Marsha Blackburn “appalls and terrifies” her because Blackburn voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and is incredibly hostile to the gay community.
“These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values,” Swift wrote.
“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,” Swift wrote. “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!”
If you take a peek at the calendar you’ll notice that today is October 9th, which is the last day to register to vote in Tennessee and a number of other states. Most states allow voter registration online. You can check your state here.
For his part, President Trump said that he likes Taylor Swift’s music “about 25 percent less” after her endorsement of Democrats. Trump, an unindicted co-conspirator and very real threat to America’s safety and security, could face actual consequences for his criminal actions if Democrats take control of Congress.
President Trump, whose policies have included separating children from their parents and a Muslim travel ban, is slowly chipping away at American democracy. But if Republicans retain control this November, Trump will certainly be able to just shake it off.