Taylor Swift AI Images

Taylor Swift wears a Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce jacket as she arrives Jan. 13 before an NFL wild-card playoff football game between the Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins in Kansas City, Mo. AP file photo

Taylor Swift has a starring role nearly anywhere she goes — on global stages performing on her blockbuster Eras Tour, cheering on her boyfriend at NFL playoff games, on the list of nominees for this year’s Grammys — and now she’s also front and center in the minds of conservatives who seem alarmed over whether she will weigh in on the 2024 presidential race.

On Monday, the New York Times reported that the Biden campaign is seeking the superstar’s endorsement ahead of the general election, in which President Biden appears likely to face former president Donald Trump. While Swift has made no presidential endorsements, the story sparked ire among right-wing figures, who are now spreading baseless claims about the pop star being a “psyop” — psychological operation — meant to draw voters to the Democratic Party.

Some Republican figures, such as Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, warned that a Swift endorsement of Biden could result in a “tsunami” that “will be very difficult to thwart.” Meanwhile, conservative pundits on Fox News, One America Network and Newsmax spent a lot of airtime discussing Swift this week. Staring directly into the camera on Monday, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro had a message for Swift: “Don’t get involved in politics; we don’t want to see you there.”

Here’s what you need to know about how Swift has gotten under conservatives’ skin:

The Biden campaign is reportedly seeking Swift’s endorsement

While the Biden campaign has focused on securing endorsements from major political players, such as labor unions, it appears the campaign knows all too well that endorsements from pop culture icons can help the president make inroads with young voters ahead of the election.


There’s nothing new about campaigns asking celebrities for support during an election cycle — and an endorsement from Swift has the potential to galvanize millions of voters nationally.

During the 2023 off-year election, Swift shared a message on her Instagram Stories encouraging her fans to register to vote.

“I’ve been so lucky to see so many of you guys at my U.S. shows recently. I’ve heard you raise your voices, and I know how powerful they are,” Swift wrote. “Make sure you’re ready to use them in our elections this year!”

Traffic on vote.org spiked by more than 1,200 percent in the following hour, CEO Andrea Hailey said then, contributing to a record-breaking number of visits to the voter registration website that day. The surge in traffic wasn’t a glitch — according to the organization, 35,252 new voters were recorded that day, the most since 2020.

Gwynn Thomas, a professor of global gender and sexuality studies at the University at Buffalo, said that while “the political science literature is a little bit mixed” in terms of how powerful celebrity endorsements are, there seems to be “a Taylor Swift exception” because of the particularly tight connection she has with her fans, commonly known as Swifties. There are millions of Swifties worldwide, and their loyalty to Swift is such that Swift’s Eras Tour added billions not only to the pop star’s wallet but also to the U.S. economy.

On Monday, Fox News host Jesse Watters appeared to acknowledge the power of Swifties. After calling them “a massive — and emotional — demographic,” Watters noted that, “if Taylor likes something, they love it.”


Swift has endorsed Democrats nationwide since 2018 — and said she regrets not endorsing Clinton in 2016

For much of her career, Swift largely stayed away from politics. That changed in 2018 when she endorsed Tennessee Democrat Phil Bredesen in his Senate race against Marsha Blackburn, who was a Republican congresswoman at the time. In a lengthy Instagram post, Swift said that, in the past, she’d “been reluctant to publicly voice” her political opinions but that, “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,” Swift said.

Bredesen lost the race to Blackburn in the red state, but Swift spoke more about her decision to publicly endorse Democrats in her 2020 documentary “Miss Americana,” in which she revealed regrets about not speaking out against Trump in 2016. In the documentary, Swift is told by her team that her endorsement of Bredesen could make the public believe she’s condemning Trump.

“I don’t care if they write that,” Swift says. “I’m sad I didn’t say it two years ago.”

Brennan Suen, deputy director of external affairs at left-leaning accountability outlet Media Matters, said that while Swift enjoyed “years and years of praise” for not speaking about politics, conservative pundits now appear to be trying to get her to “shut up and sing again” by whipping up their base into a frenzy to scare Swift away from making an endorsement.


Fox News’s Tomi Lahren, for example, said on Monday that if Swift “wanted to be protective of her legacy, she’d stay out of politics.”

APTOPIX Chiefs Ravens Football

Taylor Swift kisses Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce after an AFC Championship NFL football game Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. The Kansas City Chiefs won 17-10. Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Swift is dating NFL star Travis Kelce

For months, Swift has been in a public relationship with Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce. The buzzed-about love story sparked not only an interest in the NFL among Swift’s fan base but also a barrage of right-wing false claims that — now that Kelce and the Chiefs, presumably with Swift in tow, are Super Bowl-bound — the two are part of a Democratic ploy to get NFL watchers to vote for Biden.

Separately from Swift, Kelce had already drawn the ire of conservatives for being sponsored by Bud Light, the beer brand that last year angered some in right-wing circles for partnering with a transgender actress, and for appearing in ads to promote the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, a move that didn’t go over well with the anti-vaccine crowd.

Watters said Monday on Fox News that Kelce is “sponsored by Pfizer” and that his relationship with Swift “was engineered in a lab.” Alison Steinberg, a host on the ultraconservative One America Network, claimed that Swift’s relationship is a “fake, carefully crafted show” meant to get children “obsessed with some grown man who gets paid millions of dollars every year to throw a ball around while promoting poison death shots.”

“Major league sports in and of itself is nothing but a psyop,” Steinberg said.


But Jennifer Lawless, a political science professor at the University of Virginia, countered that right-wing pundits, not Swift, are “injecting partisan politics into football.”

“The average person who’s watching the football game is fascinated that she’s there because she’s a global superstar, not because she might vote for Joe Biden,” Lawless said.

Swift openly supports equality, abortion rights and LGBTQ rights — issues key to young voters

Lawless said right-wing pundits seem “worried that, with somebody like Taylor Swift in their pocket, the Biden campaign might be able to energize young people in a way that … he can’t.”

Swifties are predominantly young women — a bloc with whom the GOP already has trouble, especially after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. After the court’s 2022 decision, Swift declared her support for abortion rights in a Twitter post. She has also repeatedly expressed her support for the LGBTQ community, as well as her stance against race inequality.

In a statement Wednesday, the Gen Z-focused group Voters of Tomorrow, issued a warning — filled with Swift song lyrics — to conservatives seeking to attack fans of the singer.

“Gen Z knew Trump was trouble when he walked into the White House and waged war on our abortion rights, voting rights, and safety,” the group said. “By picking a fight with Taylor, you are picking a fight with young voters. And the last thing you need is an even worse reputation with us come November.”

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