Weeks earlier than Virginia’s gubernatorial election, the marketing campaign for Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe is reaching out to an surprising constituency: Taylor Swift followers.

On Tuesday, the McAulliffe marketing campaign launched a sequence of Fb, Instagram, and Google search advertisements highlighting his opponent Glenn Youngkin’s position within the controversial buy of Taylor Swift’s grasp recordings in 2019. The buyout of Swift’s masters has been some extent of bitter competition for the singer and her followers and could possibly be an surprising legal responsibility within the upcoming race.

Final yr, Youngkin — the Republican nominee for Virginia governor — retired as co-CEO of the non-public fairness agency The Carlyle Group earlier than launching his 2021 gubernatorial bid. At Carlyle, Youngkin labored with the media government Scooter Braun to accumulate Massive Machine Label Group, taking management of all of Swift’s grasp recordings and, for a time, refusing to promote them again to the singer. A number of months later, Swift referred to as on Carlyle to intervene within the deal, saying that the acquisition made it harder for her to carry out her personal music and produce her Netflix documentary named after her file Popularity.

Terry for Virginia

In a Tumblr post at the time, Swift wrote that the acquisition of her masters put Braun within the place of “controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity.”

The McAuliffe five-figure advert purchase will goal voters who like Swift and interact along with her content material throughout Fb and Instagram, in keeping with the marketing campaign. They may even place advertisements in Google search outcomes for Virginians that seek for her title.

The advertisements embrace photos of Swift and Youngkin interlaid with the hashtag #WeStandWithTaylor, a preferred tag utilized by followers and Swifties to indicate help all through the artist’s battle with Braun. Final November, Braun bought the rights to a separate non-public fairness agency in a deal believed to be price greater than $300 million, according to Variety.

As of October, the Virginia gubernatorial race is in a lifeless warmth. According to FiveThirtyEight’s most up-to-date ballot evaluation, McAuliffe is projected to win 47 p.c of the vote, whereas Youngkin is projected to win 44 p.c, placing both candidate in hanging distance of a win.

Enthusiastic fan bases have confirmed to be important instruments for political candidates over the previous couple of years. Sen. Ed Markey’s (D-MA) younger supporters helped him flip the tides of final yr’s Democratic Senate main towards then Rep. Joe Kennedy III. A minimum of one volunteer for the marketing campaign recognized themselves as a former Swifty. Final August, there have been a minimum of 100 Twitter stan accounts backing the senator, together with accounts like @harries4markey and @barbz4ed.

Correction: This text wrongly acknowledged that Braun bought the rights to the masters again to Swift. He bought them to a special non-public fairness agency in 2020.

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