Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s Love Story Sparks Wild Political Conspiracy Theories Amid Super Bowl Fever

This week, the fledgling romance between pop sensation Taylor Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce took a quirky twist, plunging into the depths of political conspiracy theories following the Chiefs’ Super Bowl berth. A whirlwind of groundless rumors swirled through social media, with everything from Swift being implicated in Pentagon psy-ops to theories about her and her Super Bowl-star beau being clandestine operatives in a plot to re-elect President Joe Biden in 2024. A more outlandish twist suggests the Chiefs’ victories were orchestrated as part of this grand plan for the February 11 game in Las Vegas.

Right-wing media and political personalities, including former GOP presidential contender Vivek Ramaswamy, commentator Laura Loomer, and One America News Network presenter Alison Steinberg, have given voice to these allegations. These absurd claims possibly underscore a fear among conservatives about Swift’s potential to sway the presidential race, especially given her Eras Tour’s record-breaking billion-dollar earnings.

There’s a long-standing fusion of pop culture and politics, with the entertainment sector being a major source of political funding. Politicians often leverage celebrity star power to enhance their appeal. The real impact of such tactics remains debatable, though Swift has shown she can, at the very least, spur voter registration.

In September, Swift’s Instagram call to her 272 million followers to register to vote catalyzed over 35,000 sign-ups through the impartial platform Vote.org. With her expansive fan base, Swift wields considerable influence. A recent SSRS survey in October 2023 revealed that around 60% of U.S. adults consider themselves at least casual fans of Swift, with 8% declaring themselves major fans. The poll also showed that 80% of U.S. adults were aware of her relationship with Kelce, with most perceiving it as genuine, not a publicity maneuver.

Joel Penney, an associate professor at Montclair State University specializing in the intersection of politics and pop culture, notes, “Pop culture grips people, it commands their attention. And nowadays, that’s what drives politics – attention and identification.” This sentiment echoes in the unexpected rise of Donald Trump to the presidency in 2016, fueled in part by his reality TV fame.

However, the extreme nature of the falsehoods about Swift challenges the boundaries of how influential a conspiracy theory can be. Penney views the barrage of posts targeting Swift as an effort to undermine her potential influence by casting aspersions on her credibility.