The Taylor Swift effect continues: Early voting surges in Tennessee

Taylor Swift attends the 2018 American Music Awards on Oct. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Taylor Swift attends the 2018 American Music Awards on Oct. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Taylor Swift is making her presence known on voting day.

After breaking her political silence in October urging fans to vote, the 28-year-old singer continued to make the most of her platform. Swift shared Jimmy Fallon’s list of candidates “who voted to gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions” and made a plea directly to her young fans.

“So, what is today? Tuesday. What was it that everyone is supposed to do today? What was it? Oh yeah, you gotta go vote today,” Swift began on her Instagram Story.

“I’m seeing a lot of underestimation of young voters and this new generation who now have the right to vote just in the last couple of years, but these are people who grew up post 9/11, they grew up with school shooting drills at their schools. These are people who want to vote,” she said to the camera. “It’s not enough to just want change. It’s not enough to just want to vote. You have go and make change by voting and today is your opportunity to do that. I promise you it feels so wonderful to exercise that right that you have. ”

As an extra incentive, Swift said she will be reposting photos of fans who tag her in their #justvoted selfies. (She made good on her promise posting dozens of shots.)

“Happy voting, you guys,” she smiled.

Swift is voting her home state of Tennessee, and she announced in October that she is throwing her support behind Phil Bredesen for the U.S. Senate and Jim Cooper for the U.S. House of Representatives, both Democrats.

Numbers released from the Democratic data firm TargetSmart show a surge in early voting numbers in Tennessee, according to the Washington Post. The firm breaks down voters into four groups, depending on how often they usually vote. “Super voters” are a group of registered voters that have voted most frequently. The midrange of voting propensity is called “frequent voters,” whereas people who have voted at least once are labeled “infrequent,” and those who have never voted at all make up a category of their own.

According to TargetSmart, Tennessee’s share of new and infrequent voters doubled in early voting compared with four years ago. As the Washington Post notes, Tennessee had one of the lowest densities of infrequent and new voters in 2014; however, Swift’s encouragement to her young fans can’t be overlooked.

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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 and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on Oct 7, 2018 at 4:33pm PDT

Swift also got credit for a spike in voter registration in Tennessee following her initial Instagram post.

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