By Greg Argos

LITITZ, Pa. (CBS) — Vice President Mike Pence underscored our area’s importance in the race for the White House. He hosted a pre-debate event in Lancaster County.

That’s where CBS3’s Greg Argos got a chance to speak with the vice president in an exclusive one-on-one interview.

This is part campaign rally, part viewing party. More than 1,000 people gathered in Lititz, Lancaster County to watch Vice President Mike Pence speak, as well as watch the debate between VP Joe Biden and President Donald Trump.

“The road to victory goes straight through Pennsylvania!” Pence told the crowd.

Pence spoke with his base in the heart of Lancaster County, charging the crown before the first presidential debate of 2020.

“I wanted to see Vice President Pence in person and be part of the celebration leading up to the debate tonight,” one supporter said.

During his trip to Lititz, Eyewitness News spoke exclusively one-on-one with Pence, asking him about polling which shows President Trump behind nine percentage points in Pennsylvania.

“We’re in Pennsylvania. This is a battleground state. What message do you have for the undecided voters, those that are still on the fence?” CBS3’s Greg Argos asked.

“Well, first the only poll that matters is on Election Day,” Pence said. “I have to tell you, seeing the enthusiasm out here in Lancaster and seeing the enthusiasm when the president was in Pennsylvania just a few short days ago, I believe the people in Pennsylvania are gonna vote for four more years of President Donald Trump in 2020.”

A topic sure to be on the minds of many voters in 35 days is the administration’s coronavirus response and the uptick in violence in major American cities, including Philadelphia.

“Is there anything you or the administration wished you did differently, especially at the offset of the pandemic?” Argos asked.

“Well, it’s remarkable to think that before the first case of community transmission occurred in late February the United States, one month before that President Trump did what no other president had done when he suspended all travel from China,” Pence said.

“We have a homicide rate in Philadelphia which is on track to be the highest in more than a decade. What is the message to those voters who are worried about crime in their cities, specifically Philadelphia?” Argos asked.

“President Trump and I are absolutely committed to take the steps necessary to ensure we have law and order in Philadelphia and in every major city and town in this country,” Pence said.