It’s possible that everything leading up to the 2024 presidential election — the trial (literally) of former President Donald Trump, the aging of both Trump and President Joe Biden, the gnashing of teeth over endless voter surveys — will prove to be nothing more than noise and The thing that’s going to sway voters is going to be Taylor Swift.
On Sunday, the 33-year-old pop star did what very few people can do: She broke the NFL’s autumn-game-day vice’s grip on the spotlight by attending a Kansas City Chiefs home game and cheering on the All-Pro It became a story. Tight end Travis Kelce. Are the two dating? Nothing has been confirmed, but it doesn’t matter. The cameras were on Swift, and news of the pairing was as ubiquitous as the day’s sports coverage. Sales of Kelce jerseys increased by nearly 400% after the singer appeared in the game.
Such is the power of the leader of Swifties. She oversees arguably the most fervent fan base in existence — neck and neck with Beyoncé’s mighty beyhive — and with the presidential election likely to be uncomfortably close, no one should underestimate her influence.
Taylor Swift’s one post promotes voter registration, imagine what else could happen
For example, September. The 19th was National Voter Registration Day. With an Instagram post, Swift helped the nonprofit group Vote.org register more than 35,000 new voters, an increase of nearly 25% compared to the same day last year.
The group also saw 115% jump in 18 year old youth registering to vote, one day. An Instagram post.
That should cause some fear among Republicans as they gather Wednesday night for the GOP presidential primary debate, which will not include Trump, the party’s far-right leading contender for the nomination. He doesn’t see any value in debating a bunch of also-rans, which is fine.
But he and the rest of his party may want to recognize the possibility that a furious stampede of young voters inspired by Swift could crush them in November 2024.
Bad week for Republicans:The GOP gives America debates, impeachment hearings, and government shutdowns. Oh my god.
Young voters loyal to Taylor Swift or Beyoncé don’t love Republicans
Voter turnout in the 18-29 age group in the 2020 midterm elections was the second-highest in nearly three decades, according to a study by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University. And those voters prefer Democrats over Republicans by a margin of 28 points.
In the Wisconsin governor’s race, 70% of young voters chose the Democratic governor. Tony Evers won over his Republican opponent.
Earlier this year, a surge of young voters in Wisconsin helped elect a liberal justice to the state Supreme Court, shifting the balance of power on the court and leading Republicans like former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Be Afraid of Ridiculousness Like This – Tweet: “Young voters are the issue. It comes from years of radical preaching – on campus, in school, with social media, and in the culture as a whole. “We have to combat this or conservatives will never win battleground states again.”
It’s not about changing party allegiance, it’s about turning out voters
To be clear, neither Swift nor Beyoncé, regardless of the power of their celebrity, are going to convert Republicans to Democratic voters. Party loyalty, especially in the age of Trump, borders on impenetrable.
But this is not about changing allegiance. Like any election, it’s about motivating enough people who share your beliefs and values to take the time to vote.
And this is where a Swifty sway or Beyoncé bump can make a decisive difference, by inspiring fans of all ages to vote, and potentially Gen Z followers (born between 1997 and 2012) politically disenchanted with older generations. To awaken the souls also.
Political Power of Gen Z:We will be an unbeatable force in 2024 – if we stand together against the far right
Taylor Swift and Beyoncé are cultural and economic forces of nature
Both artists are pop culture phenomena whose performances have become economic forces of nature. Swift’s ongoing Eraez Tour could generate up to $5 billion in economic activity, according to research firm QuestionPro, while boosting local economies at each stop.
Billboard is predicting that after Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour ends, it will gross over $500 million, while creating a similar boost for local economies at each stop.
Swift and Beyoncé impressed the likes of Oprah Winfrey in 2007 when they endorsed a senator. Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential primary.
And in the age of social media, I would argue that their influence is quite strong. You doubt the power of Swifties or the Beyhive at your own risk.
No celebrity is going to save us, but the potential impact of Swift or Beyoncé is real
Still, we can’t rely on the whims of celebrities to dictate polls, especially those who are brands themselves. I’m certainly not going to say that the fate of the country is in the hands of some artist or uber-influencer.
But Republicans must understand that young voters have made clear in past elections that they have no tolerance for Trump or GOP policies on abortion, climate change and gun violence. And when we get to 2024, their numbers will be significantly higher than the last time Trump was on the ballot.
If Swift continues to motivate those young voters, it won’t take much voter turnout to give Democrats an edge in key swing states. It’s the same with Beyoncé.
These two remarkably powerful Americans don’t need to change anyone’s mind. They just need to motivate people to come out, something both have proven historically good at doing.
Follow X, former USA TODAY columnist Rex Huppke on Twitter @RexHuppke And Facebook facebook.com/RexIsAJerk