Will Taylor Swift Endorsement Influence Senate Race?

Posted: 5:56 PM, Oct 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-09 00:20:46Z

Taylor Swift and her "Big Reputation" wandered into the political arena on Sunday night after the pop-icon endorsed former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen for U.S. Senate.

The question is, will it change any voters minds?

On Instagram Swift said that she, "Cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for all Americans," referring to Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn. Instead Swift said, "I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate."

The incredibly tight race between Bredesen and Blackburn has gained national attention in the last few months. Political analysts believe it will likely end up being one of the most expense races in state history. It's unclear though if an endorsement by a superstar like Swift might help or hurt Bredesen who is either tied or trailing in the polls. Officials with the Bredesen campaign on Monday said that the former Governor was "pleasantly surprised" by Swift's endorsement.

"There's no evidence that celebrities change how people vote. In some sense it could have a backlash," says Vanderbilt University Political Science Professor Josh Clinton.

"She decided to use her platform what she felt was the right thing to do," he added.

Clinton, who follows state politics closely, believes voter turnout in the U.S. Senate race will be crucial in determining who wins. In 2014 voter turnout among youth was at a historic low, with some estimates showing only 20 percent of people under the age of 29 showing up to vote.

In her Instagram endorsement, Swift also reminded her fans that the deadline to register to vote in Tennessee is October 9. 

"If you stay home politics is going to ignore you, the only way to make a difference is show up," Professor Clinton said.

President Trump also reacted to Taylor Swift's post late Monday saying, "I'm sure Taylor Swift has nothing or doesn't know anything about her. Let's say that I like Taylor's music about 25 percent less now."

Both Blackburn and Bredesen are scheduled to debate one another in Knoxville on Wednesday. Blackburn's campaign did not respond to a request to comment on this story.