With just one week until Pennsylvania's deadline to register to vote in the November election, Hillary Clinton stopped in Delaware County on Tuesday for an intimate town-hall meeting before a friendly audience.
Speaking at the Haverford Community Recreation and Environmental Center, accompanied by her daughter, Chelsea, and the actress Elizabeth Banks, Clinton answered questions from the audience for more than an hour on topics ranging from gun violence to health care and female body image. In contrast to a campaign appearance in the region last month, Clinton appeared relaxed, her tone explanatory.
"This election is the most consequential in our lifetimes," Hillary Clinton said as she opened the event. "It will have such long-lasting effects on not only who we are as a nation, but the future we provide for our children and our grandchildren."
Clinton's Delaware County appearance was vastly different from her visit to Temple University last month, when she spoke before a crowd of millennial voters, urging - almost imploring - them for their support. But on Tuesday, as a fresh Franklin and Marshall University poll showed the Democratic presidential nominee leading Republican Donald Trump by nine percentage points in the state, Clinton focused less on rallying voters and more on outlining ways she would curb gun violence and improve resources for schools.
Clinton's visits underscore how important the region has become to the outcome of the election. Pennsylvania is considered a key state in the presidential election, and the counties neighboring Philadelphia, especially Delaware County, are among the state's most pivotal. Trump has already stumped in Delaware County twice.
To win Philadelphia's suburban counties, a candidate must appeal to the region's white, middle-class residents, many of them blue-collar workers - the very demographic that has trended toward Trump in polling. Still, all backed President Obama in 2008; all but Chester County went for him in 2012.
At the event Tuesday, many of the several hundred supporters were women and children, two groups upon which Clinton has built her campaign.
"It should not be so hard to be a young parent," Clinton said. "And it should not be so hard to take care of your loved ones. . . . I'm going to do my best to ease those burdens."
Clinton took her first question from a girl in the audience who asked how she would reverse the "damage Donald Trump has done when he talks about women and how they look."
"At my school, body image is a really big issue for girls my age," the girl told Clinton, who answered the girl's question with a roaring "Thank you!" as the crowd cheered.
"My opponent has taken this concern to a new level," Clinton said.
"There are too many women online who are being bullied about how they look. My opponent insulted Miss Universe. How do you get more acclaimed than that?"
From there, Clinton went through her positions on comprehensive background checks for guns and increasing de-escalation training for police. She discussed her plan for reducing college debt - waiving tuition for families that make less than $125,000, and giving students the ability to refinance loans - and to make health care more affordable.
She threw hardly any jabs at Trump in Delaware County, saving them for a campaign stop in Harrisburg on Tuesday afternoon, about two miles from the state Capitol. Thousands of miles away, Trump spent Tuesday campaigning in Prescott Valley, Ariz.
"This is a man who we now know paid no taxes," Clinton said, prompting shouts from the hundreds of supporters.
"Trump took on risks that devastated his businesses, his employees, the people who were contractors, and the larger community in Atlantic City, all while continuing to live like a billionaire," she said. "Think what could happen if he were entrusted with the awesome responsibilities of being president of the United States and commander-in-chief."