Alabama polling firm tests Taylor Swift’s political influence

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Oooh, look what she made you do.

According to Vote.org, 28-year-old country-to-pop superstar Taylor Swift swayed more than 65,000 nationwide to sign-up to vote in the 24 hours following her surprise Instagram endorsement of Democrat Phil Bredesen in the Tennessee U.S. Senate race last week. But according to new a new poll released Tuesday by Alabama-based Cygnal, a Republican polling and research firm, Swift’s “big reputation” did little to actually move the needle in the race against Republican Marsha Blackburn.

With only 23 days left until the November 6 midterm elections, Cygnal found more than 86 percent of those polled say their vote hasn’t changed, despite 82 percent of respondents indicating they were aware of the endorsement altogether.

“Millennial and Gen Z voters are highly aware of the endorsement of the Democrat, but it did little to move their vote preference,” said Matt Hubbard, VP of Research & Analytics at Cygnal. “Swift’s endorsement is providing a boost to get-out-the-vote efforts, but we’re seeing minimal impact on the race.”

The statewide survey, conducted October 13-14, of 414 likely general election voters under the age of 35 in Tennessee, shows Democrat Phil Bredesen (50 percent) with a 14-point lead over Republican Marsha Blackburn (36 percent) in this age segment. 10 percent of young voters remain undecided.

“Anytime a celebrity endorses a candidate or speaks publicly about their political views, there’s always a risk of alienating fans on the other side of the aisle,” said Brent Buchanan, Cygnal’s President and Founder. “In this case, Swift’s endorsement may lead to ‘Bad Blood’ with her conservative fans.”

Respondents that were swayed by Swift’s choice to ‘Speak Now’ were split between the candidates, with 5 percent saying that they would now support Bredesen, and 6 percent indicating they would now vote for Blackburn.

The Swiftie Effect

“Swifties” or Swift superfans, respondents who attended 4-5 of her concerts, heavily favor Bredesen: 48 percent-26 percent. His lead swells to +52 among concert-goers who’ve attended at least six of Swift’s shows, but the race is tighter among less passionate fans. Respondents who have attended only one of her concerts are evenly split between the two U.S. Senate candidates, with Bredesen polling +1.

Swift’s endorsement

This was Swift’s first political endorsement. The star has stayed silent on her political views for years.

“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,” Swift wrote in her Instagram post. “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.”

It remains to be seen whether this will be the first and last of Swift’s endorsements, or if she’ll do it over and over and over again.

Read Swift’s full Instagram endorsement below:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

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! 🗳😃🌈

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