US voter registrations see massive 65,000 spike, a day after Taylor Swift's mid-term elections social media plea

Musician Taylor Swift's social media influence has proved effective almost instantly in the US with a serious spike in voter registrations after she encouraged fans to enroll for next month's US midterm elections.

After Swift expressed her support for two Democratic candidates and encouraged her 112 million Instagram followers to register to vote in time for next month's US midterm elections, the The US voter registration service saw over 60,000 enrollments.

Kamari Guthrie, the director of communications for vote.org, told Buzzfeed News there were 65,000 registrations in the 24-hour period after the singer posted her statement to Instagram on Sunday.

Ms Guthrie said vote.org had its second-busiest day of the year after Swift's post with nearly 156,000 unique visitors to their website - the only busier day was National Voter Registration Day on September 25.

She added the daily average for unique visitors was 14,078.

"Thank God for Taylor Swift," she said.

Republicans now have some bad blood with the star after a surprise endorsement on Instagram for Tennessee Democratic US Senate candidate Phil Bredesen and an argument against Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn.

Republicans and President Donald Trump have already rebuked her for the endorsement, but the Swifties closed ranks in support of her and many others have applauded her for speaking out.

"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.

"People will analyze every single word."

Blackburn's voting record, Swift wrote, "appalls and terrifies me," noting Blackburn's votes against equal pay for women and the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

Trump, who has campaigned for Blackburn, dismissed Swift's opinion of the candidate, saying Swift "doesn't know anything about her. And let's say that I like Taylor's music about 25 percent less now, OK?"

Swift also got support from Ellen DeGeneres and actor Mark Hamill, while Republican politician Mike Huckabee dismissed Swift's impact on the election by underestimating her fan based by saying that "13 yr old girls" can't vote.

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.

"She doesn't have to concern herself with potentially alienating what is perceived as a conservative country base," Pecknold said.

Still the common refrain of "shut up and sing" gets lobbed at many artists, but in the age of social media, everyone has an opinion, even on Swift's opinion, Keel said.

"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.

The president was responding to news that the superstar musician endorsed two Democrat candidates in Tennessee. Source: 1 NEWS


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