McAuliffe Targets Ads to Taylor Swift Fans in VA Governor's Race Over Opponent's Role in Sale of Swift's Masters
Pop star Taylor Swift has amassed millions of fans over the course of her career, a platform that—in recent years—she's used to encourage her young fans to become politically engaged.
In 2018, Swift endorsed political candidates for the first time, throwing her support behind Democratic House and Senate candidates in her home state of Tennessee.
In 2019, she described then-President Donald Trump's administration as an "autocracy" and came out as pro-choice. Three days later, while accepting a Video Music Award for Video of the Year, she urged fans to sign a petition calling for the passage of the Equality Act to expand the recognition of LGBTQ rights nationwide.
In 2020, she decried Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn and skewered Trump for "stoking the fires of white supremacy" with his veiled calls for violence in the wake of nationwide protests against the murder of George Floyd by police.
Now, in the wake of a crucial gubernatorial race in Virginia, Swift's fans—known colloquially as "Swifties"—are mobilizing against GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin for providing assistance to media mogul Scooter Braun in the purchase of Swift's former record company, which allowed Braun to acquire the master recordings for some of Swift's most notable songs.
Braun refused to sell Swift's masters back to her, prompting her to lambast him for "controlling a woman who didn't want to be associated with them. In perpetuity." Earlier this year, Swift finally regained ownership over her music catalogue.
The dispute ignited Swifties across the nation in disdain for Braun.
Now, the Democratic candidate for Virginia Governor—Terry McAuliffe—is running ads highlighting the connection between Youngkin and Braun.
ICYMI: McAuliffe Exposes Virginia Opponent’s Bad Blood With Taylor Swift https://t.co/tbsJF2WUoR https://t.co/EtAV7DUfPc— Blue Virginia (@Blue Virginia) 1633458476.0
One Facebook ad of McAuliffe's reads:
"Did you know that Republican candidate for Governor, Glenn Youngkin, helped buy Taylor Swift's masters out from under her when he was co-CEO of Carlyle Group?"
For some, the ads are working.
As a Virginian, #WeStandWithTaylor against Scooter Braun’s bestie and financier Glenn Youngkin. It’s… https://t.co/YQwhjTv2Q0— Meaghan (@Meaghan) 1633466961.0
Yes another reason to support @TerryMcAuliffe #vagov https://t.co/VJeZ8eNdHb— 👻Jordan Pittman🎃 (@👻Jordan Pittman🎃) 1633464491.0
We’re listening to Red and voting Blue https://t.co/teUi9Sp5C5— Andrew Strauss (@Andrew Strauss) 1633461143.0
as a Virginia resident who is voting for Terry McAuliffe and is a massive Taylor Swift fan I am THRILLED about this… https://t.co/8BT45KZneb— erica d'angelo (@erica d'angelo) 1633473068.0
As a swiftie myself, this is a great strategy because now I am even more motivated than I already was to beat Glenn… https://t.co/aqLMRViAU6— Delegate Mike Mullin (@Delegate Mike Mullin) 1633458157.0
People found the strategy original, to say the least.
this is the kind of content i want to see https://t.co/X7ugmwRz0J— David Wolfe Bender (@David Wolfe Bender) 1633464923.0
Would pay to see Bad Blood played at a McAuliffe rally https://t.co/eizZA5x5ng— Emmanuel 🎃 (@Emmanuel 🎃) 1633467280.0
The Virginia gubernatorial race is on November 2.