Oprah Winfrey to host virtual campaign event with Stacey Abrams

Credit: Jessica McGowan/AJC

Credit: Jessica McGowan/AJC

Oprah Winfrey will campaign for Stacey Abrams on Thursday, becoming the latest high-profile surrogate working to boost the Democrat’s campaign.

The event, titled “Oprah Winfrey and Stacey Abrams Present: A Thriving Life,” will be virtual and touch on topics including education, health care, housing and living wages.

Abrams is relying on elements of the same playbook she did during her 2018 campaign for governor, when Winfrey and former President Barack Obama revved up supporters in the final weeks of the race.

First lady Jill Biden spoke Friday at a private fundraiser for Abrams. Obama is scheduled to return for an in-person event with Abrams and other Democrats on Oct. 28.

Abrams’ camp hopes Obama and Winfrey can specifically energize Black voters, the party’s most reliable supporters. Recent polls show Abrams lags behind U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, the state’s first Black senator, among African American voters.

Winfrey may be the biggest celebrity to join the campaign trail — even if just virtually — this cycle. But she’s part of a trend. In the past week alone, Abrams’ campaign highlighted that the entertainer Common canvassed with her supporters. And she held a concert Sunday in downtown Atlanta with singer-songwriters Lucy Dacus and Joy Oladokun that was aimed at younger voters.

And Warnock‘s campaign announced that Lin-Manuel Miranda, the famed playwright and performer, will speak at a Wednesday evening event geared at Latino voters.

Although Republicans regularly critique Abrams for relying on star power, top GOP candidates have also relied on famous names. A string of notable political figures and potential 2024 presidential candidates have stumped for Gov. Brian Kemp and U.S. Senate hopeful Herschel Walker.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin headlined a recent suburban rally for Kemp, who is leading Abrams in recent polls. At a pro-Walker event on Monday, Fox News personality Sean Hannity featured U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott promising a GOP victory. Walker, who has had a spate of recent controversies, is in a closer race against Warnock.