Taylor Swift’s first foray into politics has reportedly led to a huge increase in voter registrations in the US.
Vote.org said it had seen a spike of 65,000 registrations in the 24-hour period following a post by the singer on Instagram, according to Buzzfeed.
Swift, who has been criticised in the past for not using her status to speak about politics, revealed on Monday that she plans to support Tennessee’s Democrats in the midterm elections next month.
In an impassioned message to her fans, the pop star said she felt compelled to speak out “due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years” which had made her “feel very differently” about shying away from politics.
After the post made headlines across the world, Donald Trump has now hit back, saying: “Let’s say that I like Taylor’s music 25% less now.”
Swift, famous for a string of platinum-selling hits including Look What You Made Me Do, Shake It Off and Trouble, has 112 million followers on Instagram, and her post has been liked more than 1.7 million times.
Kamari Guthrie, director of communications for Vote.org, said it had sparked a huge interest, according to reports.
“We are up to 65,000 registrations in a single 24-hour period since Taylor Swift’s post,” she said, adding that Tennessee had seen a significant spike.
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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! 🗳😃🌈
The organisation has also reportedly seen 5,183 registrations in the state so far this month – up from 2,811 for the entire month of September.
In her Instagram post, Swift said: “As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support [Republican candidate and US representative] Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appals and terrifies me.
“She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the re-authorisation 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.”
Speaking outside the White House, Mr Trump defended Ms Blackburn, telling reporters: “Marsha Blackburn is doing a very good job in Tennessee. She’s leading now, substantially, as she should.
“She’s a tremendous woman, I am sure Taylor Swift does not know anything about her, and let’s say that I like Taylor’s music 25% less now.”