Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton campaigns at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro on Thursday. On Monday, she added students at Temple University in Philadelphia as she reaches out to young people. Photo by Nell Redmond/UPI | License Photo
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- In a speech to college students Monday, Hillary Clinton drew parallels between their concerns about jobs, college debt, inequality and political turmoil with her own generation's struggles a half-century ago.
"No one will work harder to make your life better," Clinton told a crowd of about 200 at Temple University, asking for their support at the polls on Nov. 8.
"I need you as partners not just for winning this election, but the fights ahead of us over the next eight years," she added. "That's why if I'm in the White House young people will always have a seat at any table where a decision is being made."
Clinton's speech mirrored an essay she published earlier Monday at Mic.com, reaching out to milennials, who supported President Barack Obama in greater numbers in 2008 -- and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.
The Clinton campaign has deployed campus organizers to recruit hundreds of volunteers to join or start Students for Hillary chapters with a goal to get more than 3 million people to register and commit to vote in the 2016 election through iwillvote.com.
When Clinton was going to college, the United States was mired the Vietnam War and was reeling from the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy in 1968.
"It felt like all of America was struggling to decide who we were going to be," Clinton wrote in the Mic essay. "At the same time, we were making progress on important fronts. The Civil Rights Act outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, and the Voting Rights Act broke down barriers that prevented too many people of color from casting their ballot. Women were entering the workforce like never before, challenging attitudes and expectations."
In Monday's speech, she appealed for inclusiveness, contrasting the campaign of her Republican opponent Donald Trump.
"Optimism, not resentment. Answers, not anger. Ideas, not insults. Bridges, not walls," she said.
Clinton touted her policy proposals for creating jobs in renewable energy and infrastructure. And how she worked with Sanders on proposals for debt-free college education, free community college and help with student debt.
Ray Crozier, a Temple junior, told the Philly.com he has racked up $15,000 in debt and expects it to grow when he graduates.
"I'm one of the few students who my parents will help me out a little," he said.
Clinton noted her lifelong work with young people, starting when she graduated from law school and worked for the Children's Defense Fund.
"I am going to close my campaign the same way I started my career: fighting for kids and young people and families," she said.
Polls show Clinton's message resonates with young voters more than Trump's, but the margin has been tightening.
In a national Quinnipiac poll conducted Sept. 3-13, Clinton got 31 percent of the respondents among voters age 18 to 34, 5 percentage points more than Trump. In August, Clinton had 48 percent of that vote and a 24-point lead over Trump.
In a CBS/YouGov poll in Ohio, a key battleground state like Pennsylvania, Clinton has 51 percent of the voters under 30 -- a 32-point lead on Trump. But that's down from August when Clinton had 57 percent of that vote and a 38-point lead.
In 2012, Obama captured 60 percent of the under-30 vote in the national electorate, compared to 37 percent that went for GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
Obama campaigned for Clinton on Tuesday in Philadelphia as she was recovering from pneumonia.
Clinton and her running mate Tim Kaine also spoke Temple's campus on July 29 after the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.
On campus Monday, Clinton also reacted to the weekend bombings in New York and New Jersey, calling them "a sobering reminder that we need steady leadership in a dangerous world."