Amid declining poll numbers with younger voters, Hillary Clinton appealed to millennials in a commentary published Monday, positioning her campaign as one focused on fighting for millennials and urging them to "hold me accountable" should she win the presidency.
In the article on Mic, a news site geared toward millennials, Clinton addressed a younger demographic that, she said, "feels like you're out there on your own — like no one has your back."
"If I'm fortunate enough to be elected, you will always have a champion in the White House," she wrote. "But I can't do it on my own. I need you to work with me, keep fighting for what you believe, hold me accountable. I can't promise we'll win every fight on our first try. But I can promise you this: I'll never stop fighting for you."
The former secretary of state has slipped with younger voters since a late-summer bump in the polls after the Democratic National Convention. Last week, a Quinnipiac University poll found her support among voters under 35 at just 31 percent, only two points ahead of Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson. (Trump clocked in with 26 percent supporting, with Green Party nominee Jill Stein at 15 percent.) A similar CBS News/New York Times poll last Thursday found Clinton supported by 48 percent of respondents under 30, compared to the 60 percent Obama won in the 2012 election, Time reported.
Clinton nodded to several policy positions, including a proposal for debt-free college, in her appeal to younger readers for their vote. While promising more job creation and expanded family leave policies, she referenced crafting the debt-free college plan with primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, who she has increasingly deployed as a surrogate to win over reluctant millennial voters.
Sanders and fellow Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, widely regarded as a leader of the party’s progressive wing, both spoke on college campuses over the weekend on Clinton’s behalf, the New York Times reported. Their appearances — and Clinton’s Mic article — also preceded a millennial-focused speech at Temple University in Philadelphia planned Monday afternoon.
Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri told the New York Times that the speech would be directed at "millennial voters about how they have the most at stake in this election," adding that Clinton’s policies do the most to advance young voters’ causes.
But in the statement, Palmieri conceded that the campaign has work to do in its messaging: "It’s clear that the campaign must do more to earn their vote," she said.