Taylor Swift has long stayed out of politics during her career, but she broke her silence on Sunday, endorsing Tennessee Democratic candidates in the midterm elections and calling on her fans to make sure they vote on Nov. 6.
Swift shared a black and white photo of herself alongside her long message, in which she said she plans to vote for U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen and U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, both Democrats. She also criticized U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the Republican running against Bredesen, for her voting record in Congress.
"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," the 28-year-old Swift wrote on Instagram. "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."
Swift said Blackburn's voting record in Congress "appalls and terrifies me."
She continued, "[Blackburn] 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."
After saying she plans to vote for Bredesen, the former Tennessee Governor, and Cooper, who has represented Nashville in Congress since 2003, Swift urged her fans to research and vote for candidates who represent their own 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," Swift said. "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."
Swift pointed out that Oct. 9 is the last day to register to vote in Tennessee. Every state is different, so she told fans to visit Vote.org to find more information on their local elections.
Later, Bredesen thanked Swift for her support, saying he was "honored to have your support and that of so many Tennesseans who are ready to put aside the partisan shouting and get things done. We’re ready for it."
Thank you for the kind words @taylorswift13. I’m honored to have your support and that of so many Tennesseans who are ready to put aside the partisan shouting and get things done. We’re ready for it. Last day to register to vote is October 9. //t.co/6Xd6YyaJCG pic.twitter.com/CatUBkXPKe— Phil Bredesen (@PhilBredesen) October 8, 2018
Before Swift's statement, a CBS News/YouGov poll showed that Blackburn had a 50-42 margin over Bredesen among likely voters. Bredesen recently made an effort to win over conservatives by announcing he would have voted for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, despite the sexual harassment allegations Kavanaugh faced.
good for Taylor Swift & if you don’t think that takes some guts imagine the shit you get for your opinions and multiply that vitriol by a number so high it hasn’t been invented yet. ?— Morgan Murphy (@morgan_murphy) October 8, 2018
Swift's fans were divided on her statement. Some celebrated her taking a stand, while others vowed to stop listening to her music.0comments
"Entertainers, such as Taylor Swift, should just keep politics out of it. Especially when they are so sorely misinformed," one person wrote.
Entertainers, such as Taylor Swift, should just keep politics out of it. Especially when they are so sorely misinformed.#WalkAway— Di Moore (@SnoopaDo) October 8, 2018
"Ironic how Taylor Swift’s political views don’t matter because she’s a celebrity but the people saying that voted for a reality tv star," another added.
Ironic how Taylor Swift’s political views don’t matter because she’s a celebrity but the people saying that voted for a reality tv star ?— Mr. Bice ? (@bicebicebabyyyy) October 8, 2018