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Oprah makes her 2020 intentions 'clear'

Oprah Winfrey campaigns with Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

Posted: Nov 3, 2018 8:00 AM
Updated: Nov 3, 2018 8:00 AM

Oprah Winfrey delivered an impassioned call to voters Thursday in a fiery stump speech in support of Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

"For anybody here who has an ancestor who didn't have the right to vote, and you are choosing not to vote -- wherever you are in this state, in this country -- you are dishonoring your family," Winfrey said in Marietta, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb. "You are disrespecting and disregarding their legacy, their suffering and their dreams, when you don't vote."

The hotly contested Georgia governor's race has garnered national attention and is currently neck and neck. Abrams is running against Republican nominee Brian Kemp.

Kemp -- who, as Georgia secretary of state, is also in charge of elections and voter registration -- faced backlash after it was reported his office had put more than 53,000 voter applications on hold, nearly 70% of which are from African-Americans, because they failed to clear the state's controversial "exact match" standard. Kemp has since said the 53,000 Georgians would be able to vote in November.

In an apparent reference to the controversy, Winfrey said, "Every single one of us -- every single one of us -- has the same power at the polls, and every single one of us has something that, if done in numbers too big to tamper with" -- she paused for resounding, prolonged applause by the audience -- "cannot be suppressed and cannot be denied."

She added, "we see injustices, big and small, all around us every single day of our lives. And I know it's easy for a lot of people to feel that you have no power against those injustices, but this is what I'm here to tell you: This land was made for you and me."

Winfrey -- who sparked speculation about her own political future earlier this year -- also said she wasn't considering a run for political office.

"I don't want to run, OK? I'm not trying to test any waters - don't want to go in those waters. I'm here today because of Stacey Abrams," Winfrey said.

"I'm here today because of the men and because of the women who were lynched, who were humiliated, who were discriminated against, who were suppressed, who were repressed and oppressed, for the right for the equality at the polls," Winfrey said. "And I want you to know that their blood has seeped into my DNA, and I refuse to let their sacrifices be in vain. I refuse."

In a direct call to women, Winfrey said it hasn't even been 100 years since women had the right to vote, and called for women to honor the legacy of those who fought for the right.

As Winfrey was speaking, Vice President Mike Pence was in Dalton, about 70 miles north of Marietta, to add his support to Kemp.

"Brian Kemp's getting the support of all kinds of hard-working, good people all across Georgia, and Stacey Abrams is being bankrolled by Hollywood liberals," Pence said.

Noting that he heard Winfrey was in the Peach State, Pence said, "I got a message for all of Stacey Abrams' liberal Hollywood friends: this ain't Hollywood. This is Georgia."

A unique political brand

Perhaps even more than President Barack Obama, who will campaign for Abrams on Friday, Winfrey's appeal closely aligns with Abrams' political pitch. For decades, the media mogul has defied conventions and amassed a rare kind of fandom that defies racial, cultural and class boundaries.

If Abrams wins next week, the former Georgia state House minority leader would become the country's first female African-American governor. Her path to victory, as the campaign sees it, comes through activating voters who might have sat out past elections or never before cast a ballot while -- at the same time, with the same message -- appealing to political moderates, especially those tied into Atlanta's booming economy.

"I'm an African-American woman who is charting a very different path to doing this," Abrams told CNN last month. "I think people want to know: Will it work? But I also think they're excited by the possibility it could work."

Shortly after her speech, Winfrey posted videos on Instagram of herself going door to door canvassing for Abrams.

"Down here in Georgia y'all going door to door. Canvassing for #StaceyAbramsforGovernor," Winfrey posted.

"I'm canvassing for Stacey Abrams," Winfrey says to a shocked Georgia resident who opened her front door to find the media mogul on her doorstep holding a clipboard. "Are you voting for her?" Winfrey continued, despite the woman's surprise.

"I absolutely am," the wide-eyed, smiling woman responds.

"You are voting for her. Do you have an early voting plan?" Winfrey continued.

"I do," the woman responds.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 265146

Reported Deaths: 5777
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17807191
Hinds16967332
Harrison14298204
Rankin11280221
Jackson10976190
Lee9088145
Madison8619169
Jones6782118
Forrest6236124
Lauderdale6128192
Lowndes5564120
Lafayette5229101
Lamar507465
Washington4951125
Bolivar4149109
Oktibbeha409482
Panola388281
Pontotoc378560
Warren3698103
Monroe3693110
Marshall358570
Union357764
Pearl River3508106
Neshoba3499154
Leflore3122109
Lincoln307688
Hancock296362
Sunflower293075
Tate281162
Alcorn273554
Pike271081
Itawamba270063
Scott260849
Yazoo257156
Prentiss254554
Coahoma251555
Copiah250749
Tippah250150
Simpson243872
Leake238467
Marion225973
Grenada224272
Covington222473
Adams215371
Wayne215034
Winston207771
George204839
Newton200046
Attala197464
Tishomingo195661
Chickasaw189644
Jasper182538
Holmes172268
Clay167537
Tallahatchie157535
Stone152925
Clarke148662
Calhoun141822
Smith130726
Yalobusha123835
Walthall115037
Greene114529
Noxubee114126
Montgomery112736
Lawrence107617
Carroll106922
Perry105331
Amite102426
Webster97424
Claiborne89725
Tunica89321
Jefferson Davis88930
Benton86523
Humphreys84824
Kemper81020
Quitman7149
Franklin70717
Choctaw63813
Wilkinson59925
Jefferson57121
Sharkey45717
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 443009

Reported Deaths: 6662
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson649101007
Mobile31746574
Madison28413217
Tuscaloosa21566275
Montgomery20088332
Shelby19452132
Baldwin17333189
Lee13261107
Morgan12678142
Etowah12141181
Calhoun11555206
Marshall10487123
Houston9031164
Limestone838181
Cullman8296124
Elmore8243110
Lauderdale7946107
DeKalb7900107
St. Clair7876130
Talladega6523112
Walker6050183
Jackson603245
Colbert558194
Blount548586
Autauga540762
Coffee466964
Dale412785
Franklin377550
Russell358415
Chilton346873
Covington340880
Escambia339244
Tallapoosa3163109
Dallas313696
Chambers305470
Clarke303336
Pike265231
Lawrence255855
Marion254661
Winston234742
Bibb222948
Geneva213047
Marengo210531
Pickens200431
Hale186144
Barbour183438
Fayette178829
Butler174860
Cherokee166031
Henry160025
Monroe152621
Randolph146636
Washington142727
Clay130746
Crenshaw124845
Macon122837
Cleburne122125
Lamar120622
Lowndes116836
Wilcox108322
Bullock104628
Perry100518
Conecuh98022
Sumter90627
Greene77923
Coosa64018
Choctaw52124
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