Taylor Swift was the subject of heavy criticism for refusing to share her political views following the 2016 elections, but she broke her silence a few weeks ago when she published a lengthy Instagram post urging people to vote ahead of this year’s midterms. Now, she’s speaking out yet again—this time by sharing a photo that captures her and her mother right after they cast their ballots for Phil Bredesen, a candidate for U.S. Senate in Tennessee.
“These two Tennessee women voted for the candidate who has proven himself to be reasonable and trustworthy. We want leadership, not fear-based extremism. Early voting goes til Thursday and Election Day is November 6. Please don’t sit this one out,” the post reads.
Swift had endorsed Bredesen during her first foray into politics back on Oct. 7, writing that her views on social justice would prevent her from supporting the GOP’s incumbent Senator Marsha Blackburn.
“As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn,” she wrote in her post. “Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives.”
Swift was met with skepticism on both sides. Some people on the left felt her comments were too little, too late, while conservative pundits (the majority of them male) did their fair share of complaining on Twitter and television.
Still, the criticism paled in comparison to how much Swift’s comments seemed to move her fanbase. Just one day after she explained why she she would be getting active before the midterms, multiple websites reported an uptick in new voter registrations. To some, it was proof that the Swift effect is real and in full throttle ahead of November 6.