I’d give the Daily Beast a little credit for hedging some, but then there’s the lede: “Taylor Swift’s first foray into politics appears to have produced impressive results.” All the outlets made the same argument: that, a.) there was an increase in voter registration in the time period following Taylor Swift’s Instagram post urging people to register to vote for a Brett Kavanaugh supporter and b.) Swift caused that surge.
But of course correlation does not imply causation, much though the media tends to struggle with that concept. The evidence presented in all these pieces doesn’t actually go a step further and prove that the surge of registrations on Vote.org was caused by Swift. On the contrary, some of the pieces allude to a compelling alternative explanation. Here’s the Daily Beast again:
“We are up to 65,000 registrations in a single 24-hour period since T. Swift’s post,” Kamari Guthrie, director of communications for Vote.org, told Buzzfeed, which reports, for context, that 190,178 new voters registered nationwide in the entire month of September, while just 56,669 signed on in August. …
Today, as Swift’s post sought to inform her fans, is the last day on which Tennesseans can register to vote.
Uh, what was that last part? Tennessee registrations spiked on … the last days people can register to vote? Wouldn’t that be exactly what researchers should expect to naturally occur? It’s not just Tennessee either: seventeen other states have the same deadline, including populous states like Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida. Deadlines in states like New York and Virginia are also quickly approaching. (Read more from “There’s No Evidence Taylor Swift Caused a Massive Spike in Voter Registration” HERE)