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California Governor says Taylor Swift’s influence on US election will be ‘profoundly powerful’

Swift’s recent call to action drove record numbers of new voter registrations

Tom Murray
Friday 29 September 2023 00:10 BST
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California Governor Gavin Newsom believes that Taylor Swift’s influence will have a profound outcome on the 2024 US presidential election.

The Democrat was at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley on Wednesday (27 September) night for the second Republican debate, for which Donald Trump was notably absent.

Asked by TMZ how celebrities might impact next year's race, Newsom singled out Swift as someone who “stands tall and unique”.

“What she was able to accomplish in getting young people activated to consider that they have a voice and they should have a voice in the next election, I think it’s profoundly powerful.”

On National Voter Registration Day (19 September), Swift called upon her army of fans — more than 270 million Instagram followers — to register to vote.

“I’ve been so lucky to see so many of you at my US shows recently,” she wrote, referring to her ongoing Eras Tour, which wrapped up its first leg of North American dates in August.

“I’ve heard you raise your voices, and I know how powerful they are. Make sure you’re ready to use them in our elections this year!”

Gavin Newsom and Taylor Swift (Getty Images)

The “Anti-Hero” singer’s call to action drove record numbers to Vote.org, a non-profit voting registration platform that she has previously partnered with.

Vote.org’s communication director, Nick Morrow, announced that their site was averaging “13,000 users every 30 minutes” after Swift shared her Story.

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“Let’s just say her reputation for being a mastermind is very well-earned,” he commented.

Swift first broke her political silence in 2018 to endorse the Democrats and urge fans to vote. Previously, Swift had faced criticism for not engaging in major political moments in the US, such as the Black Lives Matter movement and the 2016 presidential election.

In a 2021 interview with Vanity Fair, she credited the Trump presidency with pushing her to publicly endorse his opposition.

“As a country musician, I was always told it’s better to stay out of [politics],” Swift explained. “The Trump presidency forced me to lean in and educate myself. I found myself talking about government and the presidency and policy with my boyfriend [then actor Joe Alwyn], who supported me in speaking out.”

She added: “I started talking to my family and friends about politics and learning as much as I could about where I stand. I’m proud to have moved past fear and self-doubt, and to endorse and support leadership that moves us beyond this divisive, heartbreaking moment in time.”

Footage from Swift’s 2020 Netflix documentary Miss Americana, in which she defiantly tells her team she will speak out against Donald Trump and Republican senator Marsha Blackburn, recently resurfaced on social media.

“This is something that I know is right... I need to be on the right side of history,” Swift said.

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