Why Taylor Swift voicing her support for two Democrats may boost their election results.
There’s bad blood between Taylor Swift and this politician.
On Sunday, singer Taylor Swift endorsed political candidates — two Democrats from her home state of Tennessee — even though she rarely speaks publicly about her politics. “I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives,” she wrote in a lengthy Instagram post — in which she also spoke out against one of the Republicans running.
“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,” Swift wrote.
Instead, Swift champions LGBTQ rights and stands against “any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG,” as well as “the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color.”
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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! 🗳😃🌈
It may give those candidates a boost. Indeed, research released this year in the Journal of Political Marketing concluded that “celebrities who are viewed favorably consistently have positive effects [on a political candidate or issue].” And that study found that “Taylor Swift is the most liked celebrity, with 57.9% feeling at least somewhat favorably toward her.” That’s compared to fewer than one in four who feel favorably towards lowest-ranked Kim Kardashian, who “is viewed unfavorably by the most respondents, with 78.4% feeling somewhat or very unfavorable towards her.”
“It seems likely therefore that Swift’s endorsements could at least be marginally helpful among those who like her and find her credible,” David J. Jackson, a professor of political science who authored the research, tells Moneyish.
Other research supports the notion that celebrities can play a role in election outcomes — sometimes in a negative way. Earlier this year, a poll by public opinion firm Morning Consult looked at celebrities and politicians whose endorsements might be the the most damaging to a political candidate.
The public opinion firm asked nearly 2,000 registered voters whose endorsement would make them less likely to support a candidate. Of course, some of the answers fall predictably along party lines: Democrats say an endorsement by Donald Trump and Mike Pence are the top two kisses of death for a politician, Republicans say Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi.
But then it starts to get interesting. Kim Kardashian lands on Democrats’, Republicans’ and Independents’ lists — and in fact tops Independents’ list as the most damaging political endorsement.
Why the dis on Kimmy K? “She may have the highest IQ on the planet but she is discounted by the masses because of how she gained her notoriety,” says Fran Walfish, a celebrity psychotherapist based in Beverly Hills. (Brands, on the other hand, are clamoring for Kardashians’ endorsement — reportedly paying up to $500,000 for her endorsements on Instagram, for example).
While this is just a poll of the potentially damaging nature of certain endorsements, recent history shows that endorsements can play a significant role in an election. Indeed, there’s some evidence that then-unpopular George W. Bush’s endorsement of John McCain may have hurt that 2008 campaign. More recently, Obama’s endorsements of a handful of Democratic candidates in 2010 may have hurt them.
Candidates know that endorsement can hurt too. For example, Al Gore distanced himself from scandal-plagued Bill Clinton when he was campaigning — even saying at the Democratic National Convention “I stand here tonight as my own man.” And this year in the Virginia gubernatorial race, Ed Gillespe kept his distance from Pres. Donald Trump by not acknowledging Trump’s tweet endorsing him until he was asked about it by the media.
Of course, endorsements can also play a crucial role in helping a candidate — even if they are from celebrities not generally connected to politics. One study estimated that Oprah’s endorsement of Obama in 2008 yielded him one million extra votes. Here are the most valuable endorsements, according to voters.
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