Daytime talk show legend — and dyed-in-the-wool Democrat — Oprah Winfrey will hit the campaign trail for the first time ever this weekend, knocking on doors and assisting in “get out the vote” efforts for Georgia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
“Winfrey is set to join Abrams Thursday at a pair of town hall events in the state, and will accompany the Georgia Democrat in knocking on voters’ doors in one of the state’s final days of early voting and just five days prior to Election Day,” NBC News reports.
Abrams is running in a tight race for Georgia governor against Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State, Brian Kemp. If Abrams wins, she’ll become the first black female governor in United States history and the first female governor of Georgia.
So far, though, Abrams and Kemp are locked in a statistical dead heat. Polls have shown Kemp leading throughout the race, but only by one or two points. For the first time last week, a local opinion poll conducted by Atlanta’s FOX affiliate showed Abrams in the lead. Real Clear Politics ranks the race as a “toss up.”
Sensing the ability to exercise her fading relevance, Oprah committed to helping Abrams turn out voters, and Abrams couldn’t be more pleased.
“Oprah Winfrey has inspired so many of us though the years with her unparalleled ability to form real connections and strengthen the bonds of family and community,” Abrams told NBC News. “I am honored to have Oprah join me for uplifting and honest conversations with voters about the clear choice before us in this election and the boundless potential of Georgians.”
Abrams has been a controversial candidate, however. She has tens of thousands of dollars in personal debt, leading her opponent to suggest she’s incapable of exercising fiscal responsibility, and on Tuesday, Abrams announced that as governor she’d consider a complete ban on semi-automatic rifles and other “assault-style” weapons and refused to say whether she’d support actively confiscating guns from legal buyers.
Oprah isn’t the only big name pinch hitting for Abrams as the race comes to a close, though — Barack Obama is expected to do some last-minute campaigning for Abrams on Friday. He’ll square off with both Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump, who will stump in Georgia for Kemp over the weekend.
Oprah Winfrey has taken a deep dive into politics since retiring from daytime television. She publicly dipped her toe into political waters in 2008, endorsing Barack Obama — a move Open Secrets credits with bringing more than 1 million voters to Obama’s side — but has given tens of thousands in donations to Democratic candidates over the years. At one point, after a landmark speech at the Golden Globes, rumors surfaced that Oprah was considering a run for president on the Democratic ticket in 2020.
Oprah denies those rumors.