Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Taylor Swift’s political Instagram post causes spike in voter registration, organization says

Erin O. Smith  Chattanooga Times Free Press via Associated Press Erin O. Smith Chattanooga Times Free Press via Associated PressMore
Ivan Hill | 10 October, 2018, 05:18

Music megastar Taylor Swift broke her long silence on politics and encouraged her more than 112 million followers on the platform to register to vote in a surprise Instagram post on Sunday that slammed a Tennessee Republican running for Senate. In doing so, Kirk not only presents those issues disingenuously (Bredesen did support Kavanaugh but the sexual harassment issue was far more complicated than he presented it to be), but he's ignoring Swift's message that while you might not find your dream candidate, that doesn't negate the importance of voting.

"One thing is clear, we're seeing a massive surge in the 18-24 and 25-29 voters, which is her fan demographic".

In the 24 hours since the "Shake It Off" singer's Instragram posting on Sunday, Vote.org said it saw 65,000 new voter registrations nationwide, the group's director of communications Kamari Guthrie told BuzzFeed News on Monday evening. Nationally, the site reported almost 156,000 unique visitors in the 24 hours since her post - second only to the numbers on National Voter Registration Day - and 65,000 registrations.

"Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values", she said.

"She weighs every word carefully, but she has to because few artists receive more scrutiny than she does, " said Beverly Keel, chair of the department of recording industry at Middle Tennessee State University.

Taylor Swift made her political preferences public for the first time this week and it seemingly sparked mass voter registration. "Last day to register to vote is October 9".

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In her post, Swift outlined the issues that drew her into the political arena after a lifetime spent determinedly outside it.

Diane Pecknold, professor of women's and gender studies at the University of Louisville, said Swift's transition from country to pop has broadened her fan base. "I don't think it's going to hurt her career".

Two years ago, Democrats turned million-dollar performances by pop icons such as Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Pharrell, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, Bon Jovi and Katy Perry into zero electoral votes.

Channeling the fear about the future that two-thirds of her generation faces, Swift connected her "Tennessee values" to critical votes that a member of Congress takes, chipping away at one of the most significant barriers to voting, which is seeing the tangible impact that participation can make.

Model Chrissy Teigen, actress Blake Lively and singer Perry were among those adding "likes" to Swift's Instagram post. "Let's say that I like Taylor's music about 25% less now". "Taylor's post has helped bring out young voters".

"On Facebook, I have seen my friends say, "I am never buying another Taylor Swift album" to 'I just went online and bought her entire catalog, "' Keel said.

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