Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was joined by 435,000 viewers on Tuesday night as she played Among Us, a popular online game. (Photo: Twitch/screenshot)

Ocasio-Cortez Holds 'Biggest Get Out the Vote Rally of 2020' as Nearly Half a Million People Watch Gaming Stream

In addition to urging viewers to support Joe Biden, the congresswoman wove comments about universal healthcare and renewable energy into the livestream. 

Julia Conley

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday experimented with a new way of engaging with young voters, inviting hundreds of thousands to join her livestream on the gaming platform Twitch as she played the popular online game Among Us. 

The three-and-a-half-hour livestream garnered 439,000 viewers at its peak—the third-highest ever on the platform—as Ocasio-Cortez focused largely on playing the game and chatting good-naturedly with other players but also made clear that the event was intended as a Get Out the Vote effort. 

As she has for months, the progressive New York Democrat began the livestream by urging young voters to support Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in the election, in which there are two weeks left to vote, in order to defeat President Donald Trump and then push Biden to adopt progressive policies. 

"Of course, we are here to vote Blue, that's [why] I'm here, to let you all know," said Ocasio-Cortez, who was joined by fellow progressive "Squad" member Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) in the game. The congresswoman also urged British players to explain the benefits of their country's publicly-funded universal healthcare system, the National Health Service, and peppered the discussion with commentary about leaving planet-warming fossil fuels behind by transitioning to renewable energy sources. 

"What kind of futuristic spaceship has gasoline anyway?" Ocasio-Cortez asked during the game, in which players try to fix a broken spaceship and determine who among them is an imposter. "This looks like a gas tank, I mean really."

"The impressiveness of AOC is not simply that she is a forceful and articulate proponent of the Democratic message, it is that she is able to speak credibly directly to millennials using platforms like Twitch," Mitchell Robertson, a fellow at the Rothermere American Institute, told the BBC. 

Amanda Litman, executive director of the organization Run for Something, which recruits and supports young Democratic candidates for public office, tweeted that by amassing more than half a million viewers across several different livestreams, Ocasio-Cortez held "the biggest Get Out the Vote rally of 2020."

The congresswoman's decision to engage with young voters on a platform they already use contrasted sharply with recent hearings on Capitol Hill in which members of Congress—who are nearly 60 years old on average—didn't grasp a number of concepts about the Internet and Facebook.

The livestream appeared to be paying dividends in its "afterlife," Litman added, with TikTok users posting clips of Ocasio-Cortez's game on Wednesday morning and garnering millions of views. 

Other political and tech commentators also acknowledged that Ocasio-Cortez and Omar's efforts to engage with young voters could win them supporters in the future. 

Myth, a professional gamer with millions of followers on Twitch and Twitter who joined Ocasio-Cortez's livestream, followed the game by elevating the congresswoman's Get Out the Vote message. 

"Remember to vote this election as well," he wrote. "This election is my first time voting and it's super easy to do so do it."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Biden Drilling Report Blasted as 'Shocking Capitulation to the Needs of Corporate Polluters'

"Greenlighting more fossil fuel extraction, then pretending it's OK by nudging up royalty rates, is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic," said one campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·

UNESCO Members Adopt First Global AI Ethics Agreement 'To Benefit Humanity'

"We're at a critical juncture in history," said Ethics in Tech founder Vahid Razavi. "We need as humans to come together and decide what is the best course of action to take with these technologies before they surpass us in their abilities."

Brett Wilkins ·

Progressive US Lawmakers Mark Black Friday With Calls to Pass the PRO Act

"The right to organize, fight for better working conditions, and fair pay must always be protected."

Jessica Corbett ·

'We Are Fighting Back': Global Black Friday Strikes and Protests Seek to #MakeAmazonPay

"We are workers and activists divided by geography and our role in the global economy but united in our commitment to Make Amazon Pay fair wages, its taxes, and for its impact on the planet."

Kenny Stancil ·

'It Was Entirely Avoidable': Rich Countries Blamed as New Covid Variant Sparks Global Alarm

"Allowing new variants to emerge and spread, 13 months into the vaccine era, is a policy choice by the rich world."

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo