2020 Election
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Over 400,000 People Watched Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar Play Among Us on Twitch

3 minute read

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar shook things up on Twitch on Tuesday with a livestream of the hugely popular video game Among Us that drew over 400,000 viewers at its peak.

In an effort to encourage people to vote in the 2020 election, the two Democratic congresswomen played the online murder mystery game that has risen in popularity alongside Twitch stars like pokimane, HasanAbi and Myth.

Ocasio-Cortez’s livestream, her first on Twitch and one of the most-watched streams in the service’s history, lasted for over three hours and garnered nearly 4.8 million total views. It was reportedly the lead referrer to IWillVote.com for at least part of its duration.

On Monday, Ocasio-Cortez put out an open call on Twitter for players to join her in Tuesday’s game. “Anyone want to play Among Us with me on Twitch to get out the vote? (I’ve never played but it looks like a lot of fun),” she wrote, garnering replies from Omar, HasanAbi and thousands of others.

Among Us is a covert multiplayer game, similar to Mafia, that takes places on an alien spaceship and has skyrocketed in popularity amid the pandemic. Although it was originally released in 2018, it wasn’t until the past few months that the multiplayer social deduction game exploded in the charts—as of Oct. 1, it had been downloaded over 100 million times, according to its U.S.-based developer, InnerSloth. In addition to its simple premise, some of the game’s appeal stems from the fact that it supports cross-play across multiple platforms—including Android and iOS—making it easy for groups of friends to play with each other while staying distanced.

Because of the popularity of the stream, Ocasio-Cortez’s Twitch channel now has more than 584,000 followers. Both President Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders also have accounts on the platform, but only have 143,000 and 159,000 followers, respectively.

Twitch has seen marked growth in recent years, and especially since the start of the pandemic. According to TwitchTracker.com, the streaming website boasts an average of over 2 million concurrent viewers in 2020, almost double what it recorded in 2019.

As Ocasio-Cortez mentioned in her tweets, the goal of the livestream was to spur potential voters to register and get to the polls. “I’m so excited by this upcoming election,” she said during the stream. “We can overwhelm the polls, and we can get things back on track.”

Following the game, Myth, a Twitch streamer with over 7 million followers, shared on Twitter that he was planning on voting for the first time in the 2020 election. “Remember to vote this election as well,” he wrote. “This election is my first time voting and its super easy to do so do it.”


Ocasio-Cortez has often used alternative methods to reach out to potential voters. She has previously made appeals to millennial and Gen Z gamers with a foray into the world of 2020’s hit game Animal Crossing: New Horizons. She has also connected with younger voters by talking politics on Instagram live while doing things like assembling IKEA furniture and cooking dinner.

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Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com