Garth Brooks’s popularity among Republican voters has dropped following his performance of “Amazing Grace” at President Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony on Wednesday (20 January).
Prior to the country singer’s set, conservatives called for a boycott of Brooks, who is himself a Republican. Other Twitter users, however, pointed out that Brooks has a long history of advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, with unity being a key theme in a number of his songs.
Boycott Garth Brooks!!
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) January 19, 2021
A new poll conducted by Morning Consult surveyed 1,993 registered voters and found that 64 percent had a favorable view of Brooks, which was four points lower than his rating in a September 5-9, 2018 survey of 767 registered voters. (As the Morning Consult notes, the January survey has a margin of error of 2 percentage points, and the September survey has a 4-point margin of error.)
Garth Brooks sang at Joe Biden's inauguration and his favorability among GOP voters dropped by 17 points, @MorningConsult polling shows.
More here from @sarahshevenock: https://t.co/8U99OHCXge pic.twitter.com/dpcyD5QPUS
— Cameron Easley (@cameron_easley) January 22, 2021
By comparison, in 2018, 78 percent of Republicans had a favorable view of Brooks, as opposed to the most recent survey, which comes in at 61 percent. Among Democrats, however, Brooks’s popularity rose six points.
In a virtual press conference prior to the inauguration, Brooks, a registered Republican, stressed that his decision to accept Dr Jill Biden’s invitation to perform was about “unity”.
“I've played for every president there is, since Carter, with the exception of Reagan,” he said. "This is an honour for me to get to serve... and it's one of the things that, if my family is around, no matter who the “President-elect is, it's an honour to be asked.”
About the Capitol riots that occurred on 6 January, Brooks said, “It was disturbing. It was sad. Try to remember, though, we are the human race. We do make choices, very much on the spur of the moment... And now we deal with it. Take responsibility. We claim it. And now we do our best to make sure something like [that] doesn't happen again."
“I might be the only Republican at this place,” he continued. “But it's reaching across, loving one another because that's what's going to get us through probably the most divided times that we have. I want the divided times to be behind us.”