Power Players

AOC’s ‘get out the vote’ Twitch stream was one of the platform’s biggest ever

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Don Emmert | AFP | Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has had more than her fair share of viral moments, and the social media-savvy politician just added yet another to that list of online hits with one of the biggest debut Twitch streams ever.

On Tuesday night, the 31-year-old congresswoman joined the Amazon-owned live-streaming platform, where she played a few rounds of the popular online game "Among Us," for an event aimed at encouraging more young people to vote in the Nov. 3 election. At one point during the over three-hour live-streamed event, more than 430,000 people were reportedly watching Ocasio-Cortez's Twitch channel and the event averaged over 325,000 concurrent viewers.

That peak in viewership would make the congresswoman's Twitch debut one of the most-watched events in the platform's nine-year history, according to the website TwitchTracker, putting Ocasio-Cortez in a similar league as gamer streaming stars like Tyler "Ninja" Blevins. Blevins still holds the record for the most-watched Twitch stream by an individual streamer after more than 600,000 viewers tuned in to watch his 2018 "Fortnite" battle with the rapper Drake.

Ocasio-Cortez's event ended up as the fifth most-watched individual Twitch stream ever, according to gaming site Dexerto, with past events like gamer Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek's return to Twitch in August (after a stint with Microsoft's now-defunct streaming platform, Mixer) also outpacing the congresswoman's debut. 

Twitch members tuned into the stream to watch Ocasio-Cortez playing the popular multiplayer social game with the likes of fellow congresswoman and "Squad" member Rep. Ilhan Omar as well as popular Twitch streamers like "Pokimane," "DrLupo" and "Myth." Planning for the stream also seemed fairly impromptu, as Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Monday afternoon to ask if anyone wanted to play "Among Us" with her on Twitch to help "get out the vote."

During the streaming event, Ocasio-Cortez encouraged viewers to visit the website IWillVote.com, a site backed by the Democratic National Committee that helps visitors register to vote. "That's really what tonight's all about, and of course we are here to vote blue," she said during the live-stream, referring to the Democratic Party.

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While Ocasio-Cortez said she had never played "Among Us" before Tuesday night, the mobile game made by developer InnerSloth has seen its popularity take off in 2020, having been installed on nearly 160 million devices worldwide, according to SensorTower. Described as a "social deduction game," the game allows between four and 10 players at a time to play as crewmates on a spaceship where they're given tasks to complete, and they must deduce which of their fellow players are actually "imposters" bent on sabotaging their work and killing their crewmates. 

Roughly 3.3 million people follow the game's account on Twitch, as "Among Us" has proven a popular way for online gamers to socialize while remaining socially-distant during the coronavirus pandemic, CNBC previously reported

Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez's event continues to gain steam a day later, with nearly 5 million people having viewed her debut video on her official Twitch channel as of Wednesday afternoon. Ocasio-Cortez also already has nearly 600,000 followers on the platform a day after launching her official account, which easily outpaces the accounts of other prominent politicians on Twitch. 

For instance, fellow Democrat, Sen. Bernie Sanders, has roughly 159,000 followers of the Twitch account he launched in 2019, while President Donald Trump's Twitch account (which mostly live-streams his speeches and rallies) has 143,000 followers.

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