Is Donald Trump Really More Popular Than Taylor Swift?

It’s an election year, and as Donald Trump continues his campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, the 77-year-old has found himself an unusual nemesis—pop star Taylor Swift.

The 34-year-old singer had an unprecedented 2023 with her record-breaking Eras Tour, reaching billionaire status, as well as going public with her new boyfriend, NFL star Travis Kelce.

Swift was even named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2023, but apparently, Trump believes the honor should have been his. The former president reportedly said he’s more popular than the Grammy winner, believing that a rumored endorsement from Swift won’t help Democratic rival Joe Biden win, according to a report in the Rolling Stone published Tuesday.

Newsweek has reached out to Taylor Swift and Donald Trump for comment via email.

Donald Trump, 2021 (left). Taylor Swift, 2023
Left: Donald Trump on January 12, 2021. Right: Taylor Swift on May 19, 2023, in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Trump and Swift are perhaps the two most talked about people in America right now.

Mandel Ngan/Scott Eisen/TAS23/AFP/Getty Images Entertainment

But who would win in a popularity contest between the business mogul turned politician and the music icon?

According to Marcus Collins, marketing professor at the University of Michigan and author of For The Culture, Trump and Swift are “two sides of the same coin.”

“They both represent something beyond their category,” he told Newsweek. “Taylor signifies a brand of feminism and Trump represents anti-establishment ideology—and their tribes are meaningfully committed to these ideals.”

Newsweek took a deep dive into Trump and Swift’s devoted fanbases, along with some statistics, to see who holds the most influence.

Who Has More Political Sway?

Trump has the obvious leg up in this arena since he’s previously been elected to the highest office in the country.

“This is the context in which he has exercised the ideology he represents,” Collins said.

When Trump first announced his run in the 2016 presidential primaries, political analysts laughed. Nevertheless, he soared to the top of opinion polls. With the slogan “Make America Great Again,” Trump’s platform has been termed by some as “ring-wing populism.” He has been accused of choosing stances based on popularity as opposed to principle.

During his presidency, he was accused of bringing far-right ideals into mainstream political discourse. Trump has a vast following however, with an August 2023 poll showing that MAGA supporters are more likely to trust Trump as a source of information than their friends and family.

Conducted by CBS and YouGov, researchers found that 71 percent of people believe that what Trump tells them is true, trusting him over loved ones (63 percent), other conservative media figures (56 percent), or religious leaders (42 percent).

His legal challenges, including the 91 criminal charges against him, appear not to have swayed his fanbase. According to the polling analysis site FiveThirtyEight, Trump polled at 72 percent in the 2024 Republican primaries—more than 50 points ahead of his last remaining rival, Nikki Haley.

Donald Trump playing golf, May 2023
Donald Trump on May 2, 2023, in Turnberry, Scotland. The 77-year-old is likely to land the Republican presidential nomination a second time.

Robert Perry/Getty Images News

Nevertheless, Swift has political power of her own. Although she was criticized early in her career for refusing to voice her opinions, in recent years the “Anti-Hero” singer has expressed support for several social causes.

She has described herself as a pro-choice feminist, was a leading signatory in the Time’s Up movement against sexual harassment, and is a long-time ally of the LGBTQ+ community.

However, her progressive views have made her a target for conservatives, especially as Joe Biden’s team is said to be vying for Swift’s endorsement.

Republicans are reportedly concerned that the pop legend could sway the election with her influence, particularly amongst younger voters. In September, she urged fans to sign up to vote on Instagram—where she has 279 million followers—directing them to the non-partisan registration site Vote.org.

That day, 35,000 new voters signed up. Although the figures couldn’t officially be traced back to Swift’s Instagram account, there was a 1,226 percent jump in users within an hour of her post going live, the site reported.

“While Taylor has encouraged Swifties to register to vote, she hasn’t overtly contributed her perspective to the political discourse like Trump has, but that doesn’t mean she can’t,” Collins said.

“She definitely has a credible opportunity to be more active in politics.”

Winner: Donald Trump…For now.

Who Has More Clout in the Entertainment Industry?

One can’t deny that Swift is one of the biggest stars in the world right now. Her Eras Tour has earned over $1 billion in revenue since it began in March 2023, breaking the Guinness World Record for the highest-grossing tour ever—with another year of gigs to go.

However, it’s not just Swift who’s benefitting from the Eras Tour. Every town the “Blank Space” hitmaker has performed in has received an economic boost, with Swifties spending an average of $1,300 per person on food, hotel rooms, and transport.

So desperate were fans for tickets that they broke Ticketmaster in November 2022, with the ticketing website unable to cope with the demand. In total, more than 2 million tickets were sold in the first day alone, more than any other artist.

Taylor Swift performing during the "Eras" tour
Taylor Swift performs onstage during the Eras Tour at SoFi Stadium on August 09, 2023, in Inglewood, California. Swift’s Eras Tour has broken multiple records, with another year of shows to go.

Kevin Winter/TAS23/Getty Images Entertainment

“Entertainment has been the primary context by which Taylor has engaged her tribe,” Collins said.

“While Trump has definitely brought the theater to politics—no surprise considering his history in entertainment—this is Taylor’s world.”

Although Swift is the undisputed queen of the pop world now, Trump has also dabbled in the entertainment sphere. He’s cameoed in several films and TV shows including Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), Zoolander (2001), Sex and the City (1998-2004), The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990 to 1996), and the long-running soap Days of Our Lives.

He hosted the reality TV competition The Apprentice from 2004 to 2017, as well as its spin-off show, The Celebrity Apprentice. The gig landed the show two Emmy nominations but Trump was fired by NBC in 2015 over remarks he made about Mexicans during his first presidential run.

Winner: Taylor Swift.

Who Has a More Dedicated Fan Base?

When it comes to fanatical behavior, it’s hard to imagine two camps more dedicated than Swifties and MAGA supporters.

“‘Fanbase’ hardly captures the dynamic at play when it comes to these collectives of people,” Collins said. “This extends far beyond fandom. Each of these tribes has an unflinching dedication.”

There have been reports of fans experiencing “post-concert amnesia” after attending the Eras Tour, with devotees going into “sensory overload” due to excitement.

Fans of the pop star are known for being fiercely defensive of her. Following speculation that break-up tracks on her 2014 album 1989 were about her romance with Harry Styles, the former boyband star lost over 100,000 followers on Instagram.

When rumors swirled that the pop legend was dating The 1975 frontman Matty Healy in May, Swifties barraged the singer with messages and social media posts, encouraging her to dump the singer whom some of them deemed problematic.

While Swift was out to eat at a Long Island restaurant in August, fans mobbed the venue. This is a regular occurrence, with fans even attempting to swamp her pal Jack Antonoff’s wedding for a glimpse of the singer.

Even the Eras Tour movie caused discord, with fans arguing over the “right way” to watch the concert in theaters.

Taylor Swift taking selfie with fan, 2019
Taylor Swift takes a selfie with a fan on August 26, 2019, in Newark, New Jersey. According to Collins, both Swifties and MAGA supporters go “beyond fandom” with their levels of adoration.

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images Entertainment

However, MAGA fans are just as dedicated to Trump. Supporters of the former president who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, are facing felony charges after allegedly believing his false claims that the 2020 election was rigged.

That same year, a nationwide study by ABC found that Trump was cited by offenders in 54 cases of threats and violence, including hate crimes. Some of his followers are now being watched by the FBI for “domestic terrorism.”

Collins said there are “there are cultural characteristics and conventions” amongst both Swifties and MAGA fans.

“These are communal collectives who engage in cultural practices,” he explained. “They aren’t just committed to the person, they are dedicated to what they represent.”

However, both stars attract very different people. According to data analytics company Morning Intelligence, Swift’s fanbase is primarily white, milliennial women (born between 1985-1994), although she’s also popular amongst Generation Z ( born between 1995 to 2009).

According to research conducted by The Conversation, Trump is beloved amongst very rural, very conservative voters, although he’s also favored by younger, white and Hispanic Republicans.

Winner: It’s a tie.

Who Can Attract the Most People to an Event?

In January, MAGA fans and Swifties went head-to-head on social media over who can draw a bigger crowd.

Trump has previously accused the media of arranging photos to make his campaign visits appear empty, hitting out at the press on Truth Social in November. However, some of his rallies have seen tens of thousands of attendees, with his July campaign spot in South Carolina drawing 50,000 people.

However, Swift’s Eras Tour recently snagged the Guinness World Record for the most attended by a female artist, with the opening night in Glendale, Arizona, attracting 69,000 fans.

In both cases, however, this is not counting the total number of people who have been estimated to attend every rally or performance.

Winner: Taylor Swift.

Donald Trump rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania, 2019
Donald Trump on December 10, 2019, in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Both Trump and Swift know how to command a crowd.

Mark Makela/Getty Images News

Who Has More Money and Resources?

Swift’s net worth is $1.1 billion as of October 2023, per reports. Although the exact figure of Trump’s net worth has not been revealed, Forbes estimates his wealth to be around $2.6 billion. However, The Apprentice star has claimed to have upwards of $10 billion.

“According to tax fillings, Trump isn’t as wealthy as he projects,” Collins said. “However, his access to resources is seemingly limitless.

“Trump’s ability to source capital from his tribe continues to amaze, which undermines any perceived anemia of what he actually has.”

Winner: Donald Trump.

Who is More Popular—Taylor Swift or Donald Trump?

Answer: It’s a tie.

Both Trump and Swift have enormous influence over their followers, with each having an edge in specific areas. However, their fanbases are so radically different, that it’s really tough to say who’s the winner of this atypical popularity contest.