Election 2016

Martin O’Malley: Pennsylvania’s young voters are #withher after first debate

The former Maryland governor stumped for Hillary Clinton on Friday in Pittsburgh.

Martin O'Malley sits down for an interview with The Incline during a visit to Hillary Clinton's Bakery Square campaign office in Larimer on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016.

Martin O'Malley sits down for an interview with The Incline during a visit to Hillary Clinton's Bakery Square campaign office in Larimer on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016.

MJ Slaby

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is confident in Pennsylvania’s young people.

This election is the “battle they were born to win,” he told The Incline Friday afternoon, during a stop at Hillary Clinton’s campaign office in Bakery Square to help register voters. After that visit, O’Malley went to the Strip District for a happy hour event at Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle.

O’Malley — whose family is from the North Side — is one of a slew of politicians and celebrities who’ve stopped in Pittsburgh to stump for Clinton.

The day before O’Malley’s visit, Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, was at CMU and told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the campaign was doing well with young voters.

“On issues that matter to young people, we’re in a good position,” [Kaine] said, ticking off a series of topics: college affordability, raising the minimum wage, equal pay for women, immigration reform and addressing climate change. “So that’s what we need to spend time talking about for the next 33 days.”

O’Malley told The Incline on Friday that he felt better about the number of young people who will go out and vote after the first debate, during which he said Clinton was clear and eloquent about her plans.

“I’ve spent a lot of time on college campuses,” he said, adding that young people want the truth clearly stated.

They don’t fear the future, he said, giving climate change as an example. While young people know that climate change is already having a profound effect on the environment, they also know there is an opportunity to do something about it, he said. (According to an April 2015 poll by the Institute of Politics at Harvard University, three out of four Americans ages 18 to 29 believe in global warming.)

O’Malley said the concerns he heard from people in Pittsburgh were the same concerns he heard in Ohio and in North Carolina. The recession was deep, and people’s wages haven’t increased. O’Malley said he told them that there is work to finish.

“No winning football team ever left the field after halftime,” he said.

O’Malley also echoed First Lady Michelle Obama who told the crowd during her visit to Pitt last month that not voting or voting for a third-party candidate is a vote for Republican nominee Donald Trump.

The latest Franklin & Marshall College Poll of Pennsylvania has Clinton ahead of Trump among likely voters, 47 percent to 38 percent.

“Lots of us had another choice in the primary,” O’Malley said with a smile. (In case you forgot, O’Malley ran in the Democratic primary, but dropped out in February.)

But he said if you care about the things that other Democratic nominee hopefuls cared about — like income inequity or preventing injustices — then Clinton is the choice.

“Not voting is throwing your vote away,” he said.