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1 in 3 Republicans believes baseless Taylor Swift election conspiracy theory, poll finds

By Liam Reilly, CNN

(CNN) — About one-third of Republicans say they believe Taylor Swift is involved in a covert government effort to help Joe Biden win the 2024 presidential election, a poll published Wednesday from Monmouth University found.

The absurd and baseless conspiracy theory in question, which was popularized in right-wing media ahead of Super Bowl LVIII, alleges Swift’s relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce was fabricated by the government as part of a sprawling psychological operations plot. The goal of the purported plot is that the Chiefs’ victory on Sunday would present Swift with an even larger pulpit from which to endorse Biden, swinging the 2024 presidential election in his favor.

While the pop superstar endorsed Biden ahead of the 2020 election and has encouraged her fans to vote in recent years, there is no factual evidence to support the conspiracy theory that has quickly moved from the fringe into the public discourse.

“The supposed Taylor Swift PsyOp conspiracy has legs among a decent number of Trump supporters,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement. “Even many who hadn’t heard about it before we polled them accept the idea as credible.”

“Welcome to the 2024 election,” Murray added.

While just under half (46%) of the 902 US adults surveyed for the poll reported they’d heard something about the conspiracy theory, one in five US adults (18%) said they believe the conspiracy, with 32% of Republicans — easily the largest of any political ideology — agreeing it is legitimate, the Monmouth poll found.

Notably, however, 42% of those who said they believe the conspiracy theory to be true hadn’t heard about it before being contacted for the poll, showing either a bias against the president or a predilection for conspiracy theories.

Swift has been attacked for weeks by vocal proponents of the theory, notably influential personalities toting fringe MAGA ideologies, including former presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy, conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec, and right-wing media personality Benny Johnson.

Ahead of Sunday’s big game, former president Donald Trump attempted to pressure Swift, saying on his social media platform that she would be “disloyal” to him should she elect to endorse a Biden presidency.

“I like her boyfriend, Travis, even though he may be a Liberal, and probably can’t stand me!” Trump wrote.

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