As Donald Trump’s aides and right-wing media supporters fret about pop singer Taylor Swift’s influence in the 2024 election, the former president has said that he is more popular than she is.
Testing that belief could very well cost Trump the election against President Joe Biden.
Swift, who made a casual endorsement of Biden in the 2020 race, hasn’t yet endorsed the current occupant of the White House for reelection this fall. But the mere idea of Swift endorsing Biden has so frazzled conservative media pundits that many are publicly warning her not to, or risk alienating her fan base.
Trump, however, doesn’t appear to be worried about Swift’s potential endorsement of Biden. According to reporting from Rolling Stone, Trump believes that celebrity endorsements won’t help Biden win reelection in November, and has said that he’s “more popular” than Swift is.
Polling indicates that isn’t the case. An NBC News survey from November, for example, shows that neither Biden nor Trump compares to Swift in terms of popularity. When asked if they have a positive or negative view on the three individuals, Trump scored -16 points overall, Biden -17 points, and Swift +24 points, that poll found.
Trump’s and Biden’s scores are a statistical tie, according to the poll’s margin of error. But Swift’s numbers are far better than both candidates. The numbers indicate that endorsing Biden would likely do a great deal of good for the incumbent president, and depending on how forceful she is in her opposition to Trump, could end up mobilizing a large number of young voters — something the Biden campaign has been struggling with as of late.
Perhaps sensing her political potential, a number of Fox News hosts and other right-wing media pundits have amped up criticisms and attacks against Swift in recent days.
“I think if she wanted to be protective of her legacy, she’d stay out of politics,” said Fox News contributor Tomi Lahren on Monday.
Swift’s fans “come across from every political ideology,” host Jeanine Pirro said as well. “Why put yourself in one area?”
On Tuesday, Fox News host Sean Hannity said Swift would be ill-advised to endorse Biden, adding, “I’m just saying, maybe she wants to think twice before making a decision about 2024.”
Meanwhile, other far right pundits are throwing out unfounded conspiracy theories about Swift. The attacks coincide with growing discontent among fans of the NFL over her being shown on its broadcasts, supporting her boyfriend, Kansas City’s tight end Travis Kelce, during games. (In reality, Swift is hardly shown on screen as much as these upset NFL fans believe she is — one analysis suggests she’s shown only for a few seconds or a minute during each of the hours-long games that Kelce and his team are playing in.)
“The Democrats’ Taylor Swift election interference psyop is happening in the open,” said far right social media influencer and Trump loyalist Laura Loomer, adding that the Biden campaign is “going to use Taylor Swift as the poster child for their pro-abortion [get out the vote] Campaign.”
“The NFL is totally RIGGED for the Kansas City Chiefs, Taylor Swift, Mr. Pfizer (Travis Kelce),” said Mike Crispi, an online right-wing video host on the site Rumble. “All to spread DEMOCRAT PROPAGANDA.”
These attacks and others like them — and potentially attacks from Trump himself in the future, if he changes his mind about Swift — could backfire.
“If former President Donald Trump and his campaign choose to attack Taylor Swift, he’ll have to defeat a far scarier and more dangerous force than President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign: her scorned fans,” said Business Insider data reporter Madison Hall, who noted that, while around 55 percent of Swift’s fans are liberal, a significant portion are conservatives who are still loyal to her.
“Biden won nine states in 2020 by fewer than 100,000 votes,” Hall added in a piece she wrote for the news site. “If just a small fraction of Swift’s Republican fans defect over such attacks, it could help Biden secure a second term in the White House.”
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