Jennifer Lawrence clarifies: she became a Democrat after voting for McCain in ’08

Jennifer Lawrence is all smiles in NYC

Last week, Jennifer Lawrence gave an interview to a popular podcast. She talked about a wide range of topics, from adult sleepovers to falling at the Oscars to… her politics. She grew up in Kentucky, in what I can only assume was an overwhelmingly Republican environment. While she didn’t say this, I assumed that everyone in her family is Republican too. What she did was was: “I grew up Republican. My first time voting, I voted for John McCain. I was a little Republican.” She also said that as she got older, she understood that she was more of a Democrat and that everything changed for her when “Donald Trump got elected.”

I speculated that Jennifer might be saying that she voted for Republicans beyond the 2008 election, where she was 18 years old and apparently didn’t know any better. It’s bad enough that she didn’t think there was anything wrong with the McCain-Palin ticket, but if she doubled-down and voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, then we need to have a longer conversation. So obviously, J-Law wanted to clarify:

So did she vote for Romney or nah?? LOL. I mean, I get what she’s saying and we should absolutely encourage young Republicans to do this, examine their goals and the goals they have for their country, and really think about, say, their privilege and what they’re really voting for. Jennifer probably went through a very common political awakening in her late teens and early 20s, the same age group as college students. But, again, DID SHE VOTE FOR ROMNEY OR NAH? Did she vote for Mitch McConnell??

Guests pose in the press room for the Christian Dior fashion show

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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26 Responses to “Jennifer Lawrence clarifies: she became a Democrat after voting for McCain in ’08”

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  1. Sunny says:

    Based on the hashtags it seems she’s saying pretty clearly she did not, that she voted for Obama then Clinton and now Biden

  2. Mumbles says:

    Yeah the “through Obama’s presidency” is a sneaky phrase, sounds like it took her the eight years to figure it out.

  3. Nicole says:

    Let the girl live. She is aware now. It takes what it takes.

    • Vote Science says:

      The ideological purity tests so many Democrats put other liberals through are so counterproductive and frustrating. There are more important political battles than someone’s voting history from when they were a teen/early twentysomething.

      • BnLurkN4eva says:

        Agree with you.

        I think these are conversations that can be had when you are dealing one on one with someone you know. When someone sees the light and move to the liberal side of the fence, welcome them and encourage them to continue educating themselves on the issues and how the right is harmful to so many. This is not the fight we need to be having out in public. This is me saying to my girlfriend, what, you only just now seen the light, but one on one over a drink. It’s not necessary to pick away at someone who has clearly come over and have been properly situated for sometime. Stop expecting everyone to have always done what we believe is right. No, they don’t get a cookie for finally doing what I personally believe is the only right thing at this point, but nod at them and move on.

    • katie says:

      AGREED. I was a democrat at 18 because my parents are democrats, not because I was just born a genius. I think it’s admirable that she came to these conclusions on her own, and it’s helpful to other young people raised conservative that she’s sharing this

    • shocked and appalled says:

      I come from a biased place, but hard agree. I’m an extremely left wing individual for almost all my adult life but voted conservative in the first election I remember voting in during university – in 1993. I voted for the party of Canada’s first woman Prime Minister Kim Campbell – she was elected by the party to replace Brian Mulroney (yes, he’s Jessica Mulroney’s father-in-law). She lost badly. I inherited my political leanings from my conservative mother (my dad died when I was 11 and I’m pretty sure he was left wing).

      And then — just over 2 years later in 1995 — I had FULLY swung left and stayed that way since. Didn’t even vote for the Liberal party in that Ontario provincial election, but to the left of that for the social democratic New Democratic Party (NDP). Which I joined as a member a few years after that.

      My views greatly evolved between my teen years and mid twenties and my social & academic experience at university really shaped me. I became an activist, big time. And they continue to evolve as an engaged lifelong learner.

      If I were American I’d have been a Sanders supporter. In fact, I worked in DC at a progressive NGO for several years during the Bush and Obama administrations and collaborated with his office a lot on issues like access to medicines and health care. Elizabeth Warren was an exciting newcomer at the time, but she’s never been as tied in to the social movements on the left as Bernie. She was more the upper middle class white Harvard elite. Not as much my jam.

      Anyhow, it’s fairly typical for young people to inherit the views of their families, and some of us do start questioning things and thinking for ourselves as we grow up. We should encourage that, not insult it!

  4. Ann says:

    McCain was my last republican vote, and I regret it. I was in the College Republicans at the time and worked on his campaign. I could see the writing on the wall for what was to come of the GOP when the tea baggers started up. I also knew Sarah Palin was a raging idiot. I disavowed Republicanism as a whole after that election. I feel JLaw on this. I know quite a few people from my CR days that feel the same way.

    • Dee Kay says:

      Kerry asked McCain to be his VP and I still wish McCain would have done that and I wish that ticket had won.

      • Ann says:

        Kerry was actually my first vote. I would have really liked that ticket. McCain represented a version of Republicanism that is now dead, which he helped murder by giving Palin a platform. A bipartisan or even just another moderate as VP would have changed things a lot, I think for the better.

    • lucy2 says:

      I remember when the 08 race got narrowed down to Obama, Clinton, and McCain, and really wanting Obama, but thinking however it turned out, all 3 of them were capable and would do an ok job. Oh how things have changed.
      Then McCain picked Palin, and that was terrifying. Once she was in the race, it felt like things turned ugly, and it hasn’t stopped since.

      I’m glad Jennifer has realized all this and is voting Democrat now, and I’m also glad she’s talking about it publicly. There are a LOT of young people who grew up as she did, surrounded by Republicans and taught that was the only way, and she’s showing you can start to think for yourself and make better decisions.

  5. tomato8o says:

    if she voted for McCain, she probably voted straight Republican down the rest of the ballot and voted for Mitch, who’s been around forever.

    • Lightpurple says:

      Moscow Mitch was on that 2008 ballot.

      • tomato8o says:

        yeah, and she probably voted for him… a lot of people vote straight down the ballot and a lot of people vote for the incumbent. he fits both criteria.

      • Sooowhat says:

        Serious question: how do we know she voted for Mitch if she hasn’t properly lived in Kentucky for years? She moved out to LA very young when she was on that one sitcom. Wouldn’t she have voted on the CA ballot? And she’s had homes in LA for years after that. I don’t think Kentucky has been her primary residence since she was a teen.

  6. Darla says:

    A vote for McCain when you were 18 is not a deal to me at all. I only wish my own niece, who voted for Trump when she turned 18, and is voting for him again this year at 22, would have had the same kind of awakening during the past four years. And McCain was no Trump. This is fine.

  7. Ashley says:

    Is this where we are now, condemning people for votes 8-12 years ago. Give me a break.

  8. LP says:

    I always got the impression our backgrounds were similar, which helps me sympathize- relatively well to do white Christian conservative parents pressuring their children to vote straight R because Jesus doesn’t want them to pay taxes (also something something abortion). Maybe hers weren’t as religious but I swear I read that somewhere? But yeah, I think a lot of white millennial women raised in comfortable circumstances by conservative parents have the same story, it just depends at what point they broke away.

    • Vote Science says:

      Are you me??? My story is nearly identical (except the anti-taxes stance was more about classism and racism than religion).

  9. bettyrose says:

    I was just about to jump in and protest that she hosted an election party for Obama in 2008, but then I realized what was Scarlet Johannson. Why can’t I tell them apart?

  10. Stacy Dresden says:

    It costs her something to declare her political affiliation and I respect and value her doing so. I agree it is not cool to shame her for how she voted at 18, having learned better.

  11. Lanie says:

    I love how 18 year old white men and women get excused for voting Republican as though the party’s racism, sexism, homophobia and fascism are brand spanking new.

    McCain hid behind Sarah Palin. He let her engage in straight up racism and xenophobia her entire time on the ticket, and barely swatted it down (you can be a Muslim and a good person).

    Bush II, Islamophobia, lying usinto an “extended military conflict” to settle a family score… None of those ring a bell? How about his first campaign telling everyone McCain’s adopted daughter was his illegitimate black child? How about stealing an election?

    Reagan kicked off the entire religious fascist movement and invented the myth of the lobster eating, Cadillac driving Black welfare queen with 20 kids taking money from hard working whites.

    You don’t have to be a genius at 18 to not vote Republican for the last 60 years. You just have to care about something other than your White privilege.

    You don’t see 18 year old black men and women flocking to vote GOP. You know, when those same Republicans aren’t trying to stop them from voting in the first place.

    • A says:

      Yeah I really don’t know how anyone could vote Republican after Shrub, Dick Cheney, and the whole goddamn cabinet. I do not think John McCain was anti-Iraq war. This was a party that voiced its full throated support for one of the most morally reprehensible decisions in modern human history. Even if the support stemmed from ignorance, that ignorance cost innocent people their lives and upset the world in ways that we’re still coping with.

      Good for her for examining her politics and voting more closely with how she herself felt aligned, but that’s not something to congratulate her for tbh. Bush set the stage for Trump. People who supported him directly or indirectly created the environment for Trump’s presidency. I have nothing else within me except a shrug and an okay.

  12. Dev says:

    she keeps saying “obama” but refers to john mccain by his full name.
    white people are more transparent than they think. she is a racist.
    i say is because this is not her first public microaggression and it won’t be her last.
    finally i want to add that i’m sick and tired of excuses and passes being given to white women for their complicity. i’m sick of the idea that poc must be grateful or kind or reach across the table to people who considered us subhuman a year or more ago and now because they had a change of heart we should let them in?
    it’s not a purity test.
    it is the height of white arrogance to assume that you are entitled to immediate forgiveness, acceptance, trust and inclusion in communities and spaces you once considered beneath you.
    if you now know better? good for you! keep at it, be consistent and stop demanding that black folks (like me) or ~the left~ (eye roll) immediately forgive you for how you harmed them whether it was passively or actively. be accountable.
    jennifer lawrence is untrustworthy as far as i’m concerned, if other white women want to cape for her and educate her then that is their problem. the rest of us don’t have owe her or other former republicans and right wingers a damn thing