February 15, 2024 - 7:00am

Nearly a fifth of Americans believe Taylor Swift is part of a covert government operation to help President Joe Biden win reelection, a Monmouth poll released Wednesday found. 

Of this group, fully 71% of those who agree are Republican and 83% indicate they are likely to support Donald Trump. Incredibly, the conspiracy gained so much national attention that nearly half of all respondents (46%) had heard of it, according to Monmouth. 

The Swift-Deep State rumours began earlier this year in mostly Right-wing circles online, with claims that the singer’s relationship with professional football player Travis Kelce was being artificially propped up so that she could influence her millions of fans to vote for Biden. Kelce’s appearances in advertisements for Pfizer’s Covid vaccine booster and Bud Light — the beer brand scorned by the American Right — only added fuel to the fire. 

Fox News host Jesse Waters speculated on air last month that Swift was “a front for a covert political agenda”, prompting a public denial from the Pentagon. His claim was also backed by former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who suggested that the outcome of the Super Bowl was rigged in order to help Biden. 

The conspiracy theory gained so much traction that it was even picked up by The New York Times, Politico and The Washington Post. And after the Chiefs, Kelce’s team, won the Super Bowl, the White House itself got involved: “Just like we drew it up,” Joe Biden tweeted on Sunday evening.

Swift is Biden’s top target for celebrity endorsements, according to the NYT. Team Biden suggested sending the president in for an appearance at an Eras Tour performance, and the campaign even had to request in a job posting that applicants stop pitching their “Taylor Swift strategy”. 

Swift’s popularity is at an all-time high. She has 279 million Instagram followers. Her Eras tour was the highest-grossing music tour in history, bringing in well over $1 billion, and the movie version of the Eras show grossed more than $250 million. Meanwhile Travis Kelce saw a 400% increase in jersey sales after Swift appeared at one of his games.

Her selling power apparently applies to politics as well: nearly a fifth of American voters said they were more likely to vote for a candidate endorsed by Swift, according to a Newsweek poll. In such a tight presidential race, that could make all the difference.

is UnHerd’s US correspondent.