Taylor Swift created quite a stir a few weeks back when she openly endorsed several Democratic candidates in the mid-term election. She also encouraged her 112 million social media followers to register to vote so that their voices could be heard as well. If you are over sixty you might not even be aware of who Taylor Swift is. She is a very popular singer who presents a pretty clean image. Some in the media have labeled her "America's Sweetheart.” Michelle Obama presented her with a humanitarian award while she was First Lady. She also noted that her daughters were big fans. Taylor Swift is also a Millennial whose audience is a mix of her peers and members of Generation Z.
While it is hard to measure the exact impact, in the less than 48 hours after Swift's post, Vote.org saw more than 105,000 new voter registrations through its site. During a typical twenty-four hour period Vote.org sees an average of 14,078 visitors. In actuality, the “Taylor Swift effect” might be the tip of the iceberg. The Associated Press recently reported that since July there has been an increased interest in this year’s mid-term election among those ages 18-35. The research showed a remarkable increase in interest from July, 2018 to September, 2018. In July 41% of those polled said they were interested in the midterm election but that number had swelled to 64% in September. There also seemed to be increased optimism as the percentage of those who were “hopeful” increased from 40% to 55% in the two month period. Those who felt “helpless” regarding the midterm election declined slightly from 40% to 36%.
Millennials have an inconsistent track record when it come voting. They showed up strong in support of Barrack Obama but for the most part they ignored the 2016 Presidential Election. Now we will have to wait until November 6th to see if they will show up at the ballot box. Either way, there is no denying that they have the potential to change the political direction of our country, and their passions and interest are vastly different than anything we have seen before. It is only a matter of time till we have our first Millennial President.