Phil Bredesen, Endorsed by Taylor Swift, Loses Tennessee Senate Race
Phil Bredesen lost his Tennessee Senate race, losing to Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn. The New York Times had Blackburn winning 61.5 percent of votes, while Bredesen gained 37.2 percent a few hours after polls closed on Tuesday.
Blackburn's win against the former Tennessee governor makes her the state's first woman senator. She's not new to the the Legislative Branch, however: Blackburn has served as a representative for the state's 7th congressional district for eight terms since 2003. She is considered a staunch conservative, and follows the party line on hot-button issues included abortion, gun legislation, LGBT issues and immigration.
Bredesen was defeated despite receiving a rare political endorsement from Taylor Swift. The singer — who has been reluctant to speak about politics despite intense pressure to do so — posted a lengthy message on Instagram in October revealing that she was voting for Bredesen. "In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now," Swift wrote. "I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country."
Despite having voiced her support for the #MeToo movement, Swift said that she would be unable to vote for Blackburn because "I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love," she continued. "Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named 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. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me." Swift mentioned Blackburn's vote against equal pay for women, the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and anti-LGBT legislation.
Swift's endorsement was credited with a voter registration surge: According to Vote.org, the site saw 65,000 registrations in the 24 hours since Swift's post.
Once election results became clear on Tuesday, Fox News host Laura Ingraham tweeted, "Hey @taylorswift13, haters gonna hate. #shakeitoff."
Swift, who is currently touring Australia, has yet to respond to the news on social media.
This article originally appeared in THR.com.