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Taylor Swift Spikes Voter Registration + Game Theory Payoffs


In the CNN article “Voter Registration Reportedly Spikes after Taylor Swift Post” journalist Lisa France describes Taylor Swift political impact in the state of Tennessee after politically “coming out” as a democrat on social media. In her post, Swift writes, “I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. 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. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to and you can find all the info. Happy Voting!” Marsha Blackburn is a republican, and later in her post, Swift argues why her fans should vote for democratic senate candidate Phil Bredesen.  France writes that, “Since her post, We are up to 65,000 registrations in a single 24-hour period since T. Swift’s post…For comparison’s sake, 190,178 new voters were registered via nationwide during September and 56,669 in August. Swift suggested people visit the website.” Swift undoubtedly had an effect on voter registration in Tennessee, where the state is seemingly becoming more purple than red in recent elections, especially due to Nashville’s increasing population. On average, city dweller tend to vote for democrats.  



According to the textbook, Game Theory is “concerned with situations in which decision-makers interact with one another, and in which the happiness of each participant with the outcome depends not just on his or her own decisions but on the decisions made by everyone.” Based off the article, the “players” are people above 18 who will vote democrat, versus people above 18 who will vote republican. Each player can receive a certain payoff based on the strategy they chose, and in this case it’s deciding to vote democrat and stop Marsha Blackburn vs. voting Republican/not voting at all and supporting Marsha Blackburn. Payoffs in the long run for those who support the democratic candidate are receiving Taylor Swift’s approval, in addition to helping maintain basic human rights in this country. Payoffs for those who vote Republican for Marsha Blackburn will be supporting “her voting record” that terrifies Swift (anti-LGBTQ, anti-Violence Against Women Act, etc). Due to the fact a dominant strategy is a best response due to the strategies of other player, it is best for Swift fans and decent humans to vote BLUE and stay away from harmful Republican candidates. .


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October 2018