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Voter registrations among young Americans shot up in the wake of pop megastar Taylor Swift's Instagram post urging her 112 million followers to get out the vote.
Swift's Sunday night missive, in which she also endorsed two Tennessee Democrats, catapulted the generally apolitical singer into the fray ahead of the November midterms. New data from Vote.org show Swift's voice is already making an impact.
The nonprofit group said nearly 65,000 Americans ages 18 to 29 registered to vote in the roughly 24 hours after the singer-songwriter's social media rallying cry.
By noon on Tuesday, that number grew to more than 102,000 — about 70 percent of which came from voters below the age of 25.
That surge in young registrations far exceeded the combined total of every other age group in the roughly 48-hour time period, in which about 64,000 Americans ages 30 and up registered.
Swift targeted young Americans in her lengthy message. "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," she wrote, noting that Tennessee's voting registration deadline was fast approaching.
Tennessee is among 14 states with voter-registration deadlines Tuesday.
Vote.org attributed the spike in young-voter numbers to Swift's Instagram message.
"Taylor's post has helped bring out young voters," the nonprofit said in a statement. "We're especially happy to see that because we know voting is habit-forming."
In Swift's home state of Tennessee, registrations in just the first eight days of October have already blown past every other month in 2018. More than 5,000 Tennesseans registered in October by Tuesday at noon, more than twice as many as the next-highest month of September, which saw 2,811 registrations.
The spike placed Tennessee as the state with the ninth-highest numbers since Sunday, with 6,217 registrations overall. Texas, which has roughly four times the population of Tennessee, took the top spot with 31,307 registrations.
Swift had long declined to endorse or denounce specific political candidates — a position that irked some political activists. But in her Instagram message Sunday, Swift wrote that "I feel differently about that now."
The post urged Tennessee voters to vote for Democrat Phil Bredesen for Senate over his GOP challenger, Marsha Blackburn, in the Nov. 6 elections. Both candidates are angling to fill the seat of Republican Sen. Bob Corker, who is not running for re-election. Swift also endorsed incumbent Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper.
Swift's post supporting Democrats contrasts with the views of hip hop veteran Kanye West, a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump and a self-styled iconoclast who is set to meet with the president later this week. West donned a red "Make America Great Again" hat and railed against the cast of "Saturday Night Live" during his Sept. 29 guest appearance on the weekly sketch show.
West infamously rushed the stage of the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards during Swift's acceptance speech for the Best Female Video award, grabbing the microphone and yelling, "Yo, Taylor, I'm really happy for you, I'ma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time!"
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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!