Taylor Swift pro-Democrat Instagram post causes spike in voter registrations
Musician says Marsha Blackburn’s Congress voting record ‘appalls and terrifies’ her
Taylor Swift: 65,000 people registered to vote in the 24 hours after the singer’s Instagram post. Photograph: Matt Winkelmeyer/TAS18/Getty
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.
Swift focused her post on the United States Senate race in Tennessee, where she is registered to vote. She wrote 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 Democrat candidates Phil Bredesen, for the Senate, and Jim Cooper, for the House of Representatives.
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I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. 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. 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 the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. 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. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. 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. 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. 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. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. 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. 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! 🗳😃🌈
Thank you for the kind words @taylorswift13. 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. Last day to register to vote is October 9. https://t.co/6Xd6YyaJCG pic.twitter.com/CatUBkXPKe— Phil Bredesen (@PhilBredesen) October 8, 2018
Of the 5,183 voter registrations in Tennessee this month, at least 2,144 occurred after Swift posted her statement on Instagram, Guthrie says. 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 find out about their local candidates and “vote based on who most closely represents your values”.
Her statement drew criticism from Donald Trump. On Monday the US 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 per cent less now, okay?”
Bredesen thanked Swift, tweeting: “I’m honoured 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 tonight’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. –Guardian