In the impending campaign battle between presumptive presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Pennsylvania looks like it will be a key battleground state.
AQuinnipiac poll released last weekshowed the candidates in a tight race in the state, Clinton 42 to Trump’s 41 (U.S. Sen Bernie Sanders was over Trump 47 to 40 percent in the poll). Another Quinnipiac pollreleased Wednedsayshows Clinton with 42 percent to Trump’s 40 nationwide.
So, Clinton’s campaign kicked off new efforts to win the state Wednesday with a focus on winning the female vote through a series of “women to women” campaign events.
Starting Wednesday evening, voters in Pennsylvania can expect to start hearing from “women to women” phone banks, three based in the Philadelphia area and two in Western Pa., reaching out to female voters to discuss Clinton’s support for issues like women’s health care, paid leave and affordable child care, her campaign said.
“Hillary has a very broad appeal to voters, but women voters in Pennsylvania are a very important part of the electorate and they’re going to be a decisive part of the election,” said Pa. state rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky (D-Delco), a Clinton supporter.
Clinton also strongly opposesthe 20-week abortion banrecently passed into law by the Pennsylvania state legislature.
“She’s going to stand up for the issues that I care about,” Krueger-Braneky said of Clinton’s opposition to that bill. “ What’s happening right here in Harrisburg shows how important it is to have someone like Hillary, whose going to stand up and defend against attacks on reproductive rights.”
Women voters are expected to play a key role in the presidential race.In the 2012 election, women voters made up 52 percent of the vote in Pennsylvania, and Obama won the state 56 percent to 43 percent.Quinnipiac found Clinton leads Trumpamong female voters in the state 50 to 34.
Trump supporters in the Philly suburbsare optimistic they can win in Pennsylvania, which hasn’t gone red for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988.
But Clinton’s campaign said they will be seeking to “emphasize the dangerous candidacy of Donald Trump for Pennsylvania women and families,” citing his pro-life stance, his support for defunding Planned Parenthood, and the fact that in public comments he has called women “pigs,” “dogs,” and “disgusting.”
Not everyone in mostly Democratic Philadelphia supports Clinton. Anti-poverty activist Cheri Honkala, whose group the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign will lead a protest at the Democratic National Convention in July, bashed Clinton at a press conference Tuesday.
“Hillary, you don’t represent the women in this city or in this country, you ain’t welcome in this town, we are not fooled whether you are Pepsi or Coke, you don’t belong here, you don’t care about our children, and yes, you need to get the hell out of our city,” Honkala said.
But Krueger-Braneky said that even voters who feel disenfranchised or are struggling with poverty should support Clinton.
“When I look at Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton, the choice is clear: who is the candidate who is going to fight for income inequality, who is going to stand up for folks who are on the margins of society, who has the demeanor I want when we’re facing a crisis?” Krueger-Braneky asked. ”My hope is that come November, when the choice is between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, folks push the right button.”