Could a North Philly Field Office Help Clinton Win the Election?

At the opening of a field office in North Philadelphia—its first in the city—the Clinton campaign said if it wins Philly, it’ll win the state.

A sign at the Hillary Clinton field office: 'Good morning, Madame President -- Hillary's Angels'

A sign at the Hillary Clinton campaign’s field office in North Philadelphia. | Photo by Dan McQuade

If Hillary Clinton does really well in Philadelphia, she’ll win the presidential election.

That was the message delivered by Clinton’s campaign to volunteers and staffers last night at the site of a former Social Security office on Cecil B. Moore Avenue in North Philadelphia. Speaker after speaker—Senate candidate Sharif Street, City Councilman Bill Greenlee, City Council President Darrell Clarke—told those assembled the importance of getting the vote out in November.

“You all are going to vote,” Clarke told assembled staffers. “Bottom line, they’re going to be extremely dependent on us to get the vote out right in this urban area. We’re going to ask you all, big time: Talk to your neighbors. Talk to them young guys on the corner. You talk about you want a job? Donald Trump is not going to give you a job. He might decide he wants to send you back to where he thinks you came from!”

Philadelphia went sharply for Barack Obama in the last two presidential elections. Obama got 85 percent of the vote four years ago in Philadelphia. He got 83 percent four years earlier. Strong Democratic turnout in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh area won Obama Pennsylvania those two elections.

In 59 Philadelphia voting divisions in the 2012 election, Mitt Romney did not even receive a single vote. They were “clustered in almost exclusively black sections of West and North Philadelphia,” per the Inquirer.

And that’s why the first field office for the Clinton campaign this year is in North Philly. If Democrats can get a similar performance in Philly this time, they may be able to win Pennsylvania for the seventh straight election.

“It’s going to be a huge place for us to get the vote out,” Marlon Marshall, Clinton’s Director of State Campaigns and Political Engagement, told Philadelphia magazine after the event. “We’re making sure we have places where the community can go—and, frankly, where we can reach out to the community.” He declined to name how many more field offices the campaign would be opening (“we’ll see”), but said that Philadelphia was among the most important states for the campaign.

“We’re going to win the state of Pennsylvania,” Marshall said. “And that’s going to start with turning out Philadelphia.”

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