Election 2017

Hillary Clinton’s lowkey pitch to millennials starts in Philly

“You might have some questions about me. I get that.”

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks to young voters at Temple University's Mitten Hall on Monday.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks to young voters at Temple University's Mitten Hall on Monday.

Kaylee Tornay/Billy Penn

Standing in front of what was quite literally a box of millennials today, Hillary Clinton appealed to several hundred young voters at Temple University, admitting large swaths of young people still haven’t quite warmed to her.

“Even if you’re totally opposed to Donald Trump, you might have some questions about me. I get that,” she said, adding. “I will never be the showman my opponent is in real life. And that’s OK with me.”

Clinton’s stepping up her efforts in Pennsylvania, especially when it comes to energizing and registering young voters. Polling shows Trump is sputtering among college-educated Republicans who live in southeastern Pennsylvania, but Clinton is losing support among millennials nationwide. Some experts have said millennials *could* be the difference-maker on Election Day.

So she’s pushing the youths. Hard.

This morning, Clinton drew applause when she touted her work with former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on developing a plan “that makes public college free for working families and debt-free for everyone.” (In April, Sanders fans filled the 10,000-person Liacouras Center arena for a rally ahead of the primary.)

She said the election has some days felt “downright depressing,” but stressed that “not voting is not an option. That just plays into Trump’s games.”

“We’re facing a candidate with a long history of racial discrimination in his businesses, who retweets white supremacists, who led the birther movement to delegitimize our first black president,” she said. “And he’s still lying about it today… we have to stand up to this hate.”

And near the end of her 30-minute speech, she spoke directly to young people once more: “There’s no doubt in my mind that young people have more stake in this election than any other age group.”

The focus on Millennials today and heading into this week has been strong. Today, an op-ed from Clinton ran on Mic, a millennial-focused national news organization, in which she wrote “Your generation is the most open, diverse and entrepreneurial generation in our country’s history.”

This past weekend, Hillary for Pennsylvania held a “weekend of action” that aimed to register millennial voters. The Pennsylvania Democrats mobilized two dozen campus organizers to register voters at schools across the state. Last week, the campaign launched “Pennsylvania Millennials for Hillary” and, when President Obama spoke in Philadelphia last Tuesday, some 100 Clinton organizers went through the crowd looking to sign up volunteers. They were focused on — you guessed it — young people.

Oh yeah, and the campaign had a Snapchat filter that read “Love Trumps Hates” at today’s event. Natch.

The harder push for young voters also comes amid reports suggesting Clinton is “outworking” Trump in Pennsylvania, which has been called by some the most important swing state in the presidential election. Clinton’s dominated the airwaves here, while her campaign and the PACs supporting it have spent some $14 million on TV and radio ads through just this week, according to the AP. That’s triple what Trump’s spending.

Trump will visit three Pennsylvania locations on Thursday, including in downtown Pittsburgh, Delaware County and Chester County.

A Republican presidential candidate hasn’t won a Pennsylvania general election since 1988 and Democrats still hold a registration advantage. But Trump is out-polling Clinton among working class voters, especially in Pennsylvania’s rural areas.

A poll put out by The (Allentown) Morning Call and Muhlenberg College this weekend showed Clinton leading Trump by nine points in Pennsylvania.

Want some more? Explore other Election 2017 stories.

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