Taylor Swift’s comments on politics have already had a historic impact.

On Sunday, Taylor Swift made an incredibly rare foray into politics, endorsing two Democratic candidates in her home state of Tennessee.

More importantly, she made an impassioned plea to young people -- urging them to register to vote -- no matter which candidates they are supporting, writing on her Instagram page: “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.”

Celebrity endorsements are nothing new and they rarely have a measurable impact outside of coverage by the media and reactions on social media.


But in the case of Taylor Swift, the evidence suggests that in less than 48 hours, she has already had a historic impact on voter registration by sending her message to her more than 112 million fans.

The website vote.org shared information with Upworthy showing that more than 200,000 people had registered to vote since her post on Sunday.

As vote.org makes clear, it’s impossible to know just how many newly registered voters are coming directly from Taylor Shift but there is a direct, measurable spike in registrations since her Instagram post was first published and quickly went viral.

As they noted in a statement: “For a point of reference, we had 78,503 voters register on National Voter Registration Day. As of 11 am ET on 10/9 (about 48 hours after Taylor’s post) we’ve had 240,000 people register and counting.”

First, here’s a breakdown of the spike in voter registrations since Swift’s post on Sunday up through 2pm ET Tuesday, October 9:

  • 18-24    90,720 (+27.9% since 12 pm ET today)
  • 25-29    40,441 (+26.3%)
  • 30-39    37,374 (+26.0%)
  • 40-49    16,333 (+23.9%)
  • 50-59    12,315 (+21.5%)
  • 60-69    8, 582 (+20.0%)
  • 70+       4,017 (+19.0%)
  • Under 18: 3,089 (+20.1%)
  • TOTAL: 212,871

(Via vote.org)

“While there are several factors contributing this, a large majority of new registrations since Taylor’s post on Sunday have been from people between 18-29 years old -- about 102,000 out of the 240,00 total new registrations in less than 48-hours,” reads a statement from Vote.org.

In just over one week, October registrations have already surpassed all of those for September, which itself was by far the largest month of the year so far:

2018 Registrations Nationwide (by month)

  • January: 12,846
  • Feb: 17,722
  • Mar: 14,599
  • Apr: 16,350
  • May: 24,795
  • June: 27,827
  • July: 49,030
  • Aug: 56,669
  • Sept: 190,178
  • October to date: 240,329 (as of 2pm ET on 10/9)

(Via vote.org)

The numbers in Swift’s home state of Tennessee also saw a massive spike, offering further evidence of just how much her call for voter registration had a direct, measurable impact:

2018 Registrations in Tennessee (by month)

  • Jan: 341
  • Feb 306
  • Mar: 504
  • Apr: 564
  • May: 309
  • Jun: 738
  • July: 1405
  • Aug: 951
  • Sept: 2,811
  • Oct to date: 7,554

(Via vote.org)

What’s maybe most impressive is that these numbers are still continuing to climb. Don’t be surprised if Swift makes another statement on this year’s midterm elections before November.

After all, with one simple Instagram post she’s already made voting history.

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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