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The Wingspan

The Wingspan

The Now-Political Power of Taylor Swift

Conspiracy theorists and football fans have hurled Taylor Swift into unfamiliar spotlights, transcending her from mere musician into a cultural and political figure that America cannot seem to get enough of, whether they like it or not.
Source: USA Today
Source: USA Today

As if Taylor Swift couldn’t get famous enough, the rising fame of the pop star has caught the attention of far-right conspiracy theorists who insist that she is part of a “covert government effort” that is helping President Biden win the 2024 presidential election, fueled by her recent relationship with Travis Kelce.

According to Monmouth University, nearly one in five Americans (18%) believe that Swift is involved in this effort. The research concludes that “71% of those who believe this identify with or lean toward the Republican Party and 83% indicate they are likely to support Donald Trump in the fall. Also, nearly three-quarters (73%) of those who believe the Swift conspiracy also believe the 2020 election outcome was fraudulent.”

Fox News host Jesse Watters asserted on his show that “around four years ago, the Pentagon’s psychological operations unit floated turning Taylor Swift into an asset … the Pentagon psy-op unit pitched NATO on turning Taylor Swift into an asset for combating misinformation online.”

Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh refuted Watters’ claim by playing on Swift’s famous lyrics, stating, “as for this conspiracy theory, we are going to shake it off.”

Swift’s recent relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has only added more fuel to the fire. On Feb. 1, 2024, 11 days before the Super Bowl, NPR reporter Shannon Bond said that the latest conspiracy theory “involve[d] the NFL rigging the Super Bowl so that the Kansas City Chiefs win … Swift [was] supposed to come out on the field and endorse Biden.” 

Even high-profile Republicans supported the claims prior to the Super Bowl. On Jan. 29, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who recently dropped out of the presidential race, wrote on X, “I wonder who’s going to win the Super Bowl next month. And I wonder if there’s a major presidential endorsement coming from an artificially culturally propped-up couple this fall. Just some wild speculation over here, let’s see how it ages over the next 8 months.” 

While the Chiefs did win the Super Bowl and Swift did come out on the field after the game, she did not announce anything to the public and only celebrated the win with Kelce.

Not only have the theories been disproved by the government, but Swift hasn’t endorsed Biden since 2020. However, she does have power in terms of causing voter turnout. Swift posted a call to register to vote on her Instagram story on Sept. 19, 2023; following the post, 35,252 people registered, ushering in a 23% jump from last year’s National Voter Registration Day and the largest registration numbers since the 2020 election year, according to While most singers ride steadfastly in their musical lane, it is clear that Swift’s high-profile figure and relationship has consequently propelled her into cultural spheres that are not typical for singers to move into.

Junior Jack Schneider, president of the Taylor Swift Club at Centennial, attests that Swift’s  stardom has the potential to sway election turnout or votes. “She’s shared her opinions on different things in the past and she’s had results from it, like measurable results … she definitely could have an impact depending on what she does.” 

Swift, evidently aware of her reach, has periodically wielded her social media influence to reach fans about voting. On Tuesday, March 5, 2024, known as “Super Tuesday,” Swift posted on her Instagram story alerting fans of the presidential primary elections being held in her home state of Tennessee and 16 other states and territories. She wrote, “I wanted to remind you guys to vote the people who most represent YOU into power. If you haven’t already, make a plan to vote today,” adding a link to

Swift’s relationship with Kelce has pushed her even farther into the center of attention; and it’s not just her fans with eyes on her. Many football fans specifically have taken issue with her appearances during the football games, encouraging a barrage of social media comments expressing their distaste for Swift, seeming to further charge the already-effusive battery of conspiracy theories. While she does make appearances on the jumbotron, it may not be as often as some fans may think. At the AFC championship, “Swift was shown on the air seven different times for a total of 44 seconds of the entire broadcast. That air time accounted for just 0.39% of the total … telecast, which was three hours and nine minutes long,” according to Sports Illustrated. USA Today reports that Swift was shown for “55 seconds … out of a broadcast that took about four hours and 18 minutes to complete.” Analyst Jason Pauley also says that that time is only 0.36% of the entire broadcast — less than the AFC championship.

In response to the backlash against Swift’s appearances, many note that the animosity is unnecessary. “What lessons are dads teaching their daughters, and sons, when they react with such disdain?” asks Jamie Skerski, the associate chair for undergraduate studies in the Department of Communication at Colorado University Boulder who is teaching a class titled Communication, Culture and Sport. “They are teaching the Swifties in their life that their interests don’t matter. That a woman who is wildly talented, successful and adored by millions should be demeaned rather than celebrated … it harkens back to the way we have been taught to dismiss or devalue things that are associated with femininity.”

Schneider echoes Skerski’s comments, stating, “I feel like [being shown is] not really her fault necessarily ‘cause [the NFL are] the ones putting her on the screen, she’s just there to support … I think it’s really interesting ‘cause you see online how their daughters are watching the football games with their dads and I think that’s just really sweet and it could definitely have some positive results coming out of that.”

Skersi added that “military flyovers, cheerleaders, the commercials for trucks and beer, those are all distractions to the game. Players being carted off on a stretcher are a distraction. The displays of nationalism and military propaganda are distractions. But those distractions are meant for those viewers.”

Again, Swift’s cultural influence has proved to stretch far beyond just her musical prowess; as a female occupying historically male-dominated spaces like football games, she has seen herself propelled into discussions concerning feminism. Being in a relationship with another high-profile figure in addition to going against the grain of right-wing politics already poises Swift to garner attention; add on top of that a heated election year, and Swift’s figure has evidently created the perfect storm of controversy in the many intersections of American life.

Despite the onslaught of conspiracy theories and hate comments, Swift has continued to carry out her career with the confidence that so many of her fans adore her for. As Swift gets vaulted in different spheres from politics to sports, it’s only natural that her fame and attention will grow with it.


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About the Contributor
Abby Conrad, Feature Editor