By Alecia Reid

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris made her first 2020 campaign visit to Philadelphia on Thursday 47 days before Election Day. Votes from Pennsylvania will be pivotal for this year’s presidential election and the candidates are putting in the work.

Harris is the latest to visit Philadelphia with her first stop being in West Oak Lane.

With shoulder bumps, a number of selfies, and a few signatures on books, Harris was received like a rockstar along Ogontz Avenue in West Oak Lane on Thursday.

The first on a three-stop tour across the city aimed at impressing and locking in voters for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and herself for the general election coming up in just 47 days.

“[President Donald] Trump and [Vice President Mike ]Pence, Biden and Harris have all been here to Pennsylvania recently,” Dan Hopkins, a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, said. “It’s just a testament to how important this state is to the outcome.”

These visits allow interactions with supporters as candidates continue to do their best to impress potential voters.

The senator was also the featured speaker at Sister to Sister, Mobilizing in Action, a conversation with Black female leaders hosted by Philadelphia Councilmember Cherelle Parker.

Speaking exclusively with Eyewitness News, Parker says Harris is making the right stops.

“Kamala Harris who is about to make history — we’re going to claim history — thought enough of Philadelphia and residents and our neighborhoods so when she came to the city, she made a decision to come to the neighborhood instead of some swanky establishment somewhere else,” Parker said. “She wanted to be amongst the people, but in a safe and socially distanced and masked up environment.

“If it weren’t for COVID, let me be honest, there would have been a ton of other Philadelphia women here today but COVID regulations prevented us from doing so,” Parker added, “but she promised today that she will come back and she will come back and make sure that we have an opportunity so that all women of Philadelphia can come together and we can have another Sister Circle conversation.”

Hopkins says reaching out to a wide audience in order to snag the state’s electoral votes is key.

“In this year with polls showing Joe Biden having a reasonable and seemingly stable advantage in states like Michigan and Wisconsin,” he said, “Pennsylvania becomes all the more important. It is very, very difficult for President Trump to win if he doesn’t win Pennsylvania and Florida.”

Hopkins says Pennsylvania is one of two or three states that are the most likely to determine the next president. He says we shouldn’t be surprised if we see even more visits over the coming weeks.

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