Phil Bredesen, Candidate Taylor Swift Endorsed, Loses Tennessee Senate Race to Marsha Blackburn in Midterm Election

Rep. Marsha Blackburn has won the senate race for the state of Tennessee despite of a viral endorsement for Bredesen by pop star Taylor Swift.

CNN called the race, also announcing that Blackburn is the first female Senator to represent the Southern state in Washington.

Before Swift's endorsement, Blackburn had a 50-42 lead over Bredesen according to CBS News/YouGov poll. After the singer's message to her fans, however, the number of young registered voters in Tennessee skyrocketed.

The open Senate seat in Tennessee — left open from Republican Sen. Bob Corker's retirement — was a critical race in the 2018 midterm elections for Democrats hoping to gain ground in the chamber, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Famous for staying silent on political manners, Swift made headlines a month before the election for endorsing Democratic candidate Bredesen, as well as Congressional Democratic candidate Rep. Jim Cooper. In her statement, released on Instagram, Swift criticized Blackburn, writing that her voting record in Congress "appals and terrifies me."

"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 at the time. "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."

She added: "[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."

Despite his Democratic affiliations, Bredesen kept his campaign in a relatively moderate platform, making an effort with conservatives by announcing he would have voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, despite the harassment allegations he faced during his confirmation hearings.


"[The race is] tight because Phil Bredesen is a singularly popular Democrat in this state. I think any other Democrat would be behind by 15 to 20 points," Anthony Nownes, a professor at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, said to NBC News. "Few voters associate Bredesen with the national Democratic Party, and he has worked hard to present himself to voters as a competent problem-solver rather than a partisan. He has bona fides because as governor he was very centrist."

Blackburn received Pres. Donald Trump's endorsement early on and helped campaign for her cause at various rallies in the past few months. At a rally in Chattanooga Sunday, Trump told the crowd, "We have to get Senator Marsha Blackburn in office as soon as we can."