In one of the stranger stories to emerge from Virginia’s hotly contested gubernatorial race, failed candidate Terry McAuliffe (D) made a last-minute effort to mobilize pop star Taylor Swift’s fan base by running attack ads blaming his opponent Glenn Youngkin (R), a former private equity executive, for the controversial sale of Swift’s master recordings.
The ads were so potent that some “Swifties” reportedly changed their voter registration to Virginia in a bid to boost McAuliffe and enact revenge on Youngkin.
Fans of Taylor Swift — often called “Swifties” — told Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Trevor Noah that they wanted to help McAuliffe win back the governor’s seat.
“I’m originally from Texas, and the last three years in college, I voted in Texas, but I just knew that I couldn’t just sit by and watch as Youngkin took Virginia,” a Swiftie named Molly told the show. “That’s when I decided to change my voter registration.”
Another young voter seconded the impulse.
“I was in a weird college area as well, where I was voting in my home state, but now I am voting in Virginia because of this issue,” a fan named Keirsten told the show.
Another Swiftie interviewed on the show made the unsubstantiated claim that Youngkin doesn’t care about LGBTQ people. The fan appeared to be referring the Republican’s silence on the gay marriage issue, though he has acknowledged that same-sex marriage is legal in the state.
Taylor Swift fans became inflamed by the Virginia election after McAuliffe launched a series of online and social media ads accusing Youngkin of helping to subvert the pop star’s career. Youngkin was co-CEO of The Carlyle Group at the time when the firm worked with media executive Scooter Braun to acquire Big Machine Label Group, a move that gave Braun control of all of Swift’s master recordings.
Virginia Democrat Clown Terry McAuliffe is not so desperate that he’s now trying to enlist Taylor Swift fans to help fend off Republican Glenn Youngkin with a bizarre and politically irrelevant argument about Swift’s recording rights. https://t.co/xM80cDRXJT
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) October 6, 2021
Swift riled up her fan base at the time by objecting to the sale, saying in a social media post that it made it more difficult for her to perform her own songs.
McAuliffe’s campaign ultimately failed when Youngkin trounced him in Tuesday’s election.