Playing video games live on Twitch may not seem the most obvious way to get more Americans to the polls, but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not one to take a conventional approach.
The Democratic congresswoman took the online streaming platform by storm Tuesday night when she livestreamed a game of “Among Us” against fellow Democrat representative Ilhan Omar and Twitch VIPs, such as pokimane, HasanAbi and Myth.
“Holy cow … Can y’all hear me?,” Ocasio-Cortez said as she tried to find her bearings on the platform, which is predominantly used to live stream video gameplay. “This is pretty wild. I’m pretty excited.”
Launched in 2011, Twitch also hosts live streams of music, sports and talk shows. US President Donald Trump and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders both have accounts on the platform, which was bought by Amazon (AMZN) for $1 billion in 2014. Twitch says it has 17.5 million daily visitors and 1.5 million viewers at any one time.
Ocasio-Cortez has appeared on Twitch before, having once called into a fundraiser stream last year. But she now has an account, and has already reached some 545,000 followers. Her debut video, which lasted more than three hours, has garnered over 4.5 million views.
The New Yorker used the opportunity to encourage viewers to vote, directing them to IWillVote.com, a Democratic party website with information on voting. “That’s really what tonight’s all about, and of course we are here to vote blue,” she said, a reference to the Democratic party.
Her stream peaked at 435,000 concurrent viewers, according to a Twitch spokesperson. That would make the broadcast among the 20 biggest streams ever on the website, based on data from third-party metrics site TwitchTracker.
Ocasio-Cortez discussed voting with other players while playing “Among Us,” a murder mystery game similar to Mafia. A group of innocents live their everyday lives while killers, who have hidden their identities, commit murders at night. The group must determine who is guilty and get rid of the imposters before they lose their majority.
The congresswoman asked the other gamers on the live stream how they were planning to vote. Myth, who has 7 million Twitch followers, said on Twitter that this would be his first time voting. “It’s super easy to do so do it,” he told his 2.3 million Twitter followers in a post.
Trump’s Twitch account, which the Republican leader launched last October, has 143,000 followers and is used to stream rallies and other campaign events. Sanders, a 2020 presidential hopeful, launched an account in July last year, which has 159,000 followers. The account regularly streams conversations on social justice issues.
— Shannon Liao and Helen Regan contributed to this report.