Local suburban female voters, a target for competing presidential campaigns, eye debate for answers

Posted at 6:23 PM, Sep 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 19:54:02-04

CLEVELAND — ​Melissa Antonelli and Tasha Schalchet know who they are voting for in the 2020 Presidential Election.

Antonelli, a North Royalton Democrat, is casting her vote for former Vice President Joe Biden.

Schalchet, an Avon Republican, is voting for President Trump for a second time.

Living in the west-side Cleveland suburbs, both women are targets for the competing campaigns this season.

"Women absolutely need to get out there and vote and make their voices known," Schalchet said.

"The suburban women vote particularly has changed because of just the generations have changed," Antonelli said about the weight of women voters outside of the urban core. "They don't necessarily just listen to what their significant others are telling them about politics. They want to read up on their own and form their own opinions."

Antontelli said her neighborhood is still conservative but getting younger and more liberal. Schalchet is a former Democrat voter who voted for Trump in 2016.

"I voted for Clinton the first time. So, you know, I do look at the candidates," she said.

Even though both women are firmly in their camps for 2020, they are looking to the debate for unanswered questions from their candidates.

From Biden, Antonelli wants directions.

"I think what I want to hear from him is how we're going to move forward as a country," she said.

From Trump, Schalchet wants details.

"What has President Trump done in the three and a half years? But what are you going to do for me now? What's next? And also, I want to understand specifics," Schalchet said.

Both women say one 90-minute debate is not long enough to get all their answers, but with COVID-19 taking so much focus this election season, they're ready to hear more from their candidates.