On November 7, 2020, after almost four days, major news outlets called the election, declaring Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next President and Vice-President of the United States. It was a historic win in many regards and it was celebrated nationwide. However, it would not have been possible without Democratic women inspiring people to vote, leading grassroots efforts and campaigning for change. Here are some of the women who helped Joe Biden and Kamala Harris win the election.
Biden could not have won without the support of the Obamas. As former First Lady and close friend of Joe Biden, Michelle Obama was the best person to speak to his character and his leadership abilities. While she never made any in-person appearances, she often took center stage during his presidential campaign. She has made several virtual speeches touting Biden as the best person to lead this country. However, it was Mrs. Obama’s speech at the opening night of the Democratic National Convention that was the most impactful.
As Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer was instrumental in turning Michigan blue. In the weeks leading up to the election, Governor Whitmer, who also serves as national co-chair of Biden’s presidential campaign, launched a four-day bus tour across Michigan and she went door-to-door in battleground counties. She sought to promote early voting and increase support for Biden and other Democrats on the ballot after Trump narrowly won Michigan in 2016.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a rising star in the Democratic Party, so all eyes were on her when she organized a ‘get out the vote’ Twitch stream to play the popular game Among Us. During the three hour event, at one point, more than 430,000 people were watching her play. Throughout her stream, she encouraged viewers to register to vote and to vote blue in the 2020 election. Her Twitch stream helped ignite the young voters, who historically have low voter turnout.
Representative of Minnesota CD-05 Ilhan Omar joined Ocasio-Cortez in the Among Us stream, but she was also vital to securing Biden’s win in her state. Omar could have easily won reelection without in-person canvassing, but her campaign continued to hire people to drive up voter turnout because she realized how important it is to the presidential election. Minnesota is key to a Democratic win in the electoral college. Without her, the Blue Wall would have crumbled.
Rashida Tlaib is the representative of Michigan’s 13th districts, which covers parts of Detroit and Wayne County. In 2016, Hillary Clinton lost Michigan due to weak voter turnout in Detroit, specifically among Black voters. Representative Tlaib and her team sought to help Biden improve upon Clinton’s showing. She went door-to-door, called and texted voters, and registered people who had never voted before. She also participated in ‘get out the vote’ events with other politicians and celebrities from Detroit. Tlaib was a major factor in delivering Michigan to the Democrats.
After ending her presidential campaign on March 2, 2020, Senator Amy Kloubchar went on to endorse Joe Biden for president. She soon became a frequent figure at Biden campaign events. The Minnesota Senator visited the swing states of Florida, Wisconsin and Michigan. However, it was in her home state where her presence was felt the most. Senator Kloubchar made several stops in counties throughout the state to discuss issues relevant to voters and promoted Biden as the best candidate to tackle them.
In 2018, Stacey Abrams lost the Georgia gubernatorial election by 55,000 votes. She refused to concede the election, citing widespread voter suppression. More than one million Georgians had their voter registrations cancelled and 70% of those were Black voters. This injustice inspired Abrams to launch Fair Fight, an organization dedicated to promoting fair elections and encouraging voter participation in them. Fair Fight and New Georgia Project, a group Abrams created prior to 2018, registered 800,000 new voters in the state. Thanks to Stacey Abrams, Georgia, a long-held Republican state, is a swing state for the first time in decades.
If not for these seven women, the election would have likely ended very differently. They mobilized millions of voters to help Democrats win back the White House, and more importantly, they changed the future of democracy. The future is truly female.