I don’t think I need to give the full history, but after years of being almost unforgivably apolitical, Taylor Swift came out as a Democrat before the 2018 midterms. She spoke out against Tennessee senator Marsha Blackburn and endorsed her opponent. She did a big push to get her fans to register to vote in 2018 as well. In 2020, she allowed Rep. Eric Swalwell’s PAC to use her song “Only the Young” for an incredibly powerful GOTV ad for Democrats. In honor of National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 19, Taylor once again put out a call for her fans to register to vote via an Instagram Stories post. The result? A record-breaking amount of web traffic to Vote.org resulting in more than 35,000 new registered voters in one day.
Why it matters: “Our site was averaging 13,000 users every 30 minutes — a number that Taylor Swift would be proud of,” Andrea Hailey, CEO of Vote.org, said in a statement. (13 is Swift’s famously lucky number.)
By the numbers: 35,252 people newly registered to vote on Tuesday — a 23% jump from last year’s National Voter Registration Day, and the largest since the 2020 general election year, according to Vote.org. There was a 115% increase in 18-year-olds registering compared to last year. 157,041 eligible voters visited the site.
Between the lines: Swift’s push comes as the nonpartisan nonprofit launches a campaign to register 8 million voters before Election Day 2024. They aim to target young people via efforts on college campuses, with social media influencers and other tactics, according to a press release.
What she’s saying: “I’ve been so lucky to see so many of you guys at my US shows recently,” Swift wrote in a message on her Instagram story on Tuesday, linking to Vote.org’s site. “I’ve heard you raise your voices, and I know how powerful they are. Make sure you’re ready to use them in our elections this year!”
Hey, good for Taylor on this one. She is not without her problems and is definitely guilty of being the kind of feminist who talks the talk but doesn’t always walk the walk. But, hey, if she can register more young voters for the Democrats ahead of the 2024 election, then LFG. On Pod Save America, Dan Pfeiffer (my fav) is always reminding us that thanks to the Electoral College, the next election is most likely going to be decided by fewer people than are in attendance at one of Taylor’s concerts. <Shudders.> Tay Tay, make sure you specifically target those IG posts and send your TikTok army of Swifites out to those swing states. It’d also be rad if those young, new voters helped grow the power of Gen Z by getting involved in politics, too.
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) June 23, 2023
photos credit: Cover Images, Backgrid and via Instagram
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