COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Despite COVID-19 concerns, people came out to watch the first presidential debate in public.
Studio 35 in Clintonville has hosted watch parties for the past two presidential elections and this year is no different.
“They’ve historically been huge turnouts for us,” explained Studio 35 Manager Tyler Campbell.
“I like seeing people’s reaction, just a fun time,” said Clintonville resident Elliot Doza.
Studio 35 showed the presidential debate on the big screen but it was first come, first serve. They only allowed people in every other row and assigned seats to watch for safety precautions. Even though Studio 35 filled sustainably less seats for their watch parties, people were ready.
“I am here for a social environment, especially nowadays. We don’t get that very often,” said Clintonville resident Kara Apple.
Whether they’re here with friends or loved ones, most of the people want to be engaged during the debate.
“When it’s a nine showing and people have a few drinks in them, they will call out if it’s a lie,” noted Emily Polko.
Some people already know who they are voting for, like Doza.
“I’ve already made up my mind,” stated Doza “I’m voting for Biden-Harris.”
But others think these next few debates could make a significant difference
“I think there are some people who don’t fully have their minds made up, so I hope that not necessarily that all the debates help them make a fully informed decision,” said Polko.
And employees at Studio 35 know the community will continue to come out as the countdown to election night gets closer.
“So, I think there’s a lot of excitement about what will happen in the next few months,” Campbell said.
Families and children didn’t come out to watch. Many said its most likely because of the 9 p.m. start time for the debate.
Studio 35 will show each debate leading up to the election free of charge. Those will also be first come, first serve.