Rachel Brougham: Republicans have a problem and her name is Taylor Swift

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In any other time, it would be an American love story. But in today’s politically charged world, the romance between pop sensation Taylor Swift and the NFL’s Travis Kelce has not only made Swift a top enemy of many, but their relationship has become fodder for one of the most bizarre conspiracy theories I’ve ever heard (and I’ve heard a lot).

If you haven’t heard, some on the far right of the political spectrum believe that Swift and Kelce’s relationship is some plot to get President Joe Biden re-elected for a second term. If it sounds crazy, that’s because it is crazy.

Since when does a romantic relationship suddenly become anything other than just that — a relationship? And why is everything a conspiracy these days?

But here’s the problem when it comes to those on the right side of the aisle going after Swift: Going after arguably the most famous woman on the planet, someone who has millions of followers, someone who is admired by both men and women for not only her talent, but her savvy business ethics, isn’t going to help your cause much.

Republicans have long struggled to connect with younger voters. And as older voters pass away and younger people register to vote, Republicans face an uphill battle. And if we’re talking about connecting young voters through music, it’s hard to believe that Republican-touted artists such as Ted Nugent, Kid Rock and many in the country music industry are going to have the same impact on young voters as mega star Taylor Swift.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the Taylor Swift phenomenon at work according to Time Magazine:

When Swift began dating Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, it caused sales of his jersey to increase by 400 percent.

Week-over-week viewership of Kansas City Chiefs games among women jumped 63 percent after Swift attended a game.

Swift was the top streaming artist on both Apple Music and Spotify in 2023.

Her music catalog is worth somewhere between $400 million and $1 billion.

Her Eras tour in 2023 was a huge boost to the U.S. economy. Spending by fans in concert-hosting cities reached $93 million per show, $5.7 billion overall.

Every time Swift posts on Instagram, she receives on average, 7.8 million likes.

So explain to me how going after Taylor Swift is going to help Republicans in the 2024 election? You don’t have to be a fan or even like her music to understand Swift’s grasp on the world. And if you have someone this successful, this in-touch with young people, why does anyone think it’s a good idea to alienate all those potential voters?

Seems like the GOP doesn’t just have a problem attracting young voters, it has Taylor Swift problem.

— Rachel Brougham is the former assistant editor of the Petoskey News-Review. You can email her at racheldbrougham@gmail.com.

This article originally appeared on The Holland Sentinel: Rachel Brougham: Republicans have a problem and her name is Taylor Swift