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Taylor Swift’s popularity and inescapable place in American culture today would make her endorsement sought after by any politician — especially one like President Joe Biden, who is struggling to connect with the youngest Americans who are at the core of her fan base.
A new Morning Consult survey shows many “Swifties” in the electorate want the 14-time Grammy winner to endorse the incumbent president, as she did four years ago. But the youngest among them are not yet highly motivated to vote, suggesting she could help the president make up ground by leaning into efforts to motivate her most passionate acolytes to show up at the polls.
And while many Americans do not want her to endorse any candidate at all, let alone the president, there appears to be little downside risk for Swift, whose avid fan base — which leans young, female and liberal — is much more accepting of celebrity involvement in politics than the broader population.
The potential impact of Taylor Swift and her fans on 2024
At least 1 in 10 U.S. voters (13%) identify as avid fans of Swift, along with 37% who consider themselves casual followers. Among the most ardent Swifties who are registered to vote, there's appetite for her to wade into the 2024 contest on Biden’s behalf, but that’s not shared by the wider pool of voters.
“Swifties” and the Larger Electorate Are Divided Over Idea of Biden Endorsement
Roughly 2 in 3 avid Swift fans who are registered to vote would like to see her endorse Biden’s re-election, more than twice the 30% of all voters who agree. Among her voter-eligible avid fans, 23% said she should not weigh in on the contest, compared with 46% of all voters.
These numbers among her fans line up generally with where her closest followers’ loyalties lie in the 2024 contest: 64% of voters who identify as avid Swift fans said they’re supporting Biden already, compared with 27% who back Trump. Those figures did not change when we asked these voters to consider the impact of her potential endorsement.
The superstar has become more politically active and outspoken in recent years. In 2018, Swift made her first Democratic endorsement, backing Phil Bredesen for Senate in Tennessee. That failed to yield a win in the staunchly conservative state, but led to a surge in voter registration. She waded into politics again in 2020 with her first Biden endorsement and an Instagram post to encourage early voting.
As polls show Biden struggling with America’s youngest voters by Democratic standards, our data suggests she could likely make an impact this year by encouraging her core followers, many of whom aren’t sure they’ll vote in November, to do just that.
2 in 3 Swift Fans Say They’ll Vote in November
Roughly 2 in 3 Swift fans said they definitely plan to vote this November, including similar shares of avid and casual fans. However, only about half of her youngest followers (ages 18-34) are sure to participate in the presidential contest, suggesting that a Swift advocacy effort could help Biden run up the score among this left-leaning group — especially if she can activate her casual followers.
How a political endorsement could impact Taylor Swift’s brand
From crashing websites and selling out arenas in record fashion to boosting national economies, Swift’s most fervent fans are unique in their appetite for meaningful engagement. If 2023 proved anything, it’s that where Swift goes, her fans will follow — even to football games. They are undoubtedly one of the most intense and galvanizing social groups in America at the moment.
But our survey also shows that their support extends to the celebrity class more broadly: More than two-thirds (69%) of avid Swift fans said they believe stars should play an active role in communicating their political positions and supporting candidates. Just 38% of all U.S. adults said the same.
Americans Are Divided on Celebrities’ Political Involvement – but Swifties Encourage It
Majorities of millennials and self-identified Democrats, including those who are women, also expressed support for celebrities’ involvement in politics. These same groups comprise the lion’s share of Swift’s avid fandom, indicating any political call to action or endorsement made by the pop star would fall on largely encouraging Swiftie ears.
Taylor Swift’s fandom skews young, female and Democratic
An endorsement of Biden specifically may elicit a similarly positive response, as more than half (54%) of avid Swift fans voted for him in the 2020 election.
Demographic Profile of Avid Taylor Swift Fans
Still, 23% of U.S. adults who identify as her avid fans also identify as Republicans — and 1 in 4 voted for Trump in 2020. What's more, 11% of avid Swift fans said she “definitely should not” make any kind of political endorsement, and slightly more (16%) said the same about an endorsement of Biden.
Trump’s campaign, and the media apparatus supporting it, have yet to manufacture significant ire against Swift, but this data shows there is some reputational risk at play for her if any conservative attacks become focused.
The bottom line
A right-wing online frenzy successfully handicapped one major brand, Bud Light, last year when the beermaker aligned itself with a transgender influencer. So there is precedent for boycotts initially prompted by a relatively small group of right-leaning Americans to go mainstream, but previous Morning Consult research suggests the brewer’s situation will likely continue to be an outlier.
In the event of an endorsement-sparked backlash, Swift has more than a few factors working in her favor.
Her seemingly never-ending schedule of public events this year and popular romance with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce could serve as P.R. safeguards — levers that can be quickly pulled to change the news cycle if a negative conservative narrative were to take hold.
She also has the wide world of TikTok, which more and more young people are turning to for news content, in the palm of her hands. Though Universal Music Group recently pulled her music (alongside that of all of its artists) from the platform, Swift-related content has long spurred viral trends and dominated discussions on the influential app. (Users have created more than 11 million videos under the hashtag #TaylorSwift alone.)
Beyond all of the above, Swift has a famously tireless and proactive communications team — and with a net favorability rating among U.S. adults that is 25 percentage points above water, she is a far more popular figure than Biden or Trump.
Ultimately, another Biden endorsement would likely be neutral for the Taylor Swift brand at worst: Our data points to the move being a winner among her avid fans, and while it might put off some casual supporters, the share of those who believe she should not endorse Biden is not large enough to suggest she would take a major public opinion slide.
For the president, an activation of the Swifties could breathe some life into his re-election effort — if Swift can motivate her supporters to show up on Election Day in November.