Hasan Piker Won't Tell You to Vote for Joe Biden - Latest Global News

Hasan Piker Won’t Tell You to Vote for Joe Biden

“When I’m young, I don’t see anyone that fascinates me right now,” Piker told us.

Pollsters and strategists like to claim that Biden won the last election in part, largely thanks to young voters who went for him, but in recent months polls have shown their support wavering. A new set of New York Times/Siena polls conducted this week also claim that Biden is trailing former President Donald Trump in the polls in every battleground state except Wisconsin, and the youth vote could be a big reason why.

Streamers like Piker are arguably some of the most influential creators on the internet, and there’s no doubt that they could have a real impact in 2024. Earlier this week, I spoke with Samuel Drzymala, the founder of Progressive Victory, a liberal group that works with streamers on get-out-the-vote initiatives. He told me that Twitch’s format allows for the kind of back and forth that can change a person’s mind.

“The long discussion allows for discussion of many nuances and details and creates greater understanding, as if these people are educating their audience when they decide to talk about topics,” Drzymala said.

Progressive Victory’s approach to moving online activism IRL has proven successful. At a recent promotional event in Ohio, the group was able to bring together about 20 streamers and 300 volunteers to knock on 40,000 doors for state progressives.

“They have built communities around their personalities and the way they speak to their audience,” Drzymala said. “The live nature allows creators to make really compelling requests to their audience and drive people to insane actions.”

Unlike Drzymala’s group, Piker focuses more on issue advocacy than electoral politics. Although he sometimes encourages his supporters to vote without ballots in elections, his biggest priorities are the causes he cares about.

“I think my influence is much more important when it comes to a Chipotle union organization in Lansing, Michigan. I went to the UCLA camp and every SJP and JVP student I met said, ‘I’m here because I started watching you in 2020 and you really broadened my horizons,'” Piker told us.

The Biden campaign will not achieve this level of influence any time soon. The Biden campaign declined to comment on Hasan’s comments on voting, but has made significant investments in its relationships with supportive influencers, which we’ve talked about several times in this newsletter. But is a Luke Skywalker video more effective than engaged online communities? I think we’ll find out.

The chat room

On Monday, I spoke with Erin Hattamer, a comedian on TikTok with more than 1.6 million followers. For the past two weeks, she has led a program called #PassTheHat, which connects creatives like her with families in Gaza to raise money to evacuate, pay medical bills or rebuild their lives.

The grassroots group Operation Olive Branch finds and screens families in need, and as of this week, Hattamer has connected more than 700 Palestinian families with online creators. Once a creator is assigned to a family, the creator will continue to post about them and their GoFundMes until their goals are met.

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