More than 65,000 people have registered to vote around the country in the 24-hour period after singer Taylor Swift waded into politics and said she would back Tennessee’s Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, according to the website Vote.org.
This compares with 190,178 new voters registered nationwide during the month of September.
Swift, who has more than 112 million followers on Instagram and tens of millions more on other social media platforms, said Sunday she intended to support Democrat Phil Bredesen over Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn. The singer has largely remained apolitical, but said she compelled to act after noting Blackburn’s record “appalls and terrifies me.”
The state of Tennessee, where the singer is registered to vote herself, also saw a large spike in sign-ups. Kamari Guthrie, director of communications for Vote.org, told BuzzFeed that the organization had seen 2,144 new registrations in the last 36 hours, and 5,183 so far this month. Those numbers far outstrip the 2,811 Tennessee new voters who signed up during the entire month of September, according to ABC. Oct. 9 is the voter registration deadline in Tennessee.
Vote.org said Tuesday in a statement that it could not say if Swift was directly responsible for the surge, and there is typically a spike in voter registrations as deadlines approach. But the group noted that many of the people who had registered to vote were between the ages of 18 and 29, which is a demographic consistent with Swift’s fan base.
In her comments on Sunday, Swift said she was hesitant to share her views but that events in her life had compelled her to do so. She said Blackburn did not share her “Tennessee values” and encouraged her supporters to go to Vote.org to register themselves.
“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,” she wrote. “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 continued: “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.”
Swift’s move has prompted an outcry among the far right, many of whom long speculated that the singer may have been a secret fan of the Republican party. President Donald Trump himself said Swift likely didn’t “know anything” about Blackburn, ending his comments with a subtle dig at the singer.
“Let’s say that I like Taylor’s music about 25 percent less now,” the president said Monday.
Despite the criticism, many took to social media to share their own accounts of registering after Swift’s post, or to support the singer’s efforts.
Sam Levine contributed reporting.
This article has been updated with comment from Vote.org.