FLORIDA – All eyes are on the Sunshine State on a day dubbed as Super Tuesday 3 as Sen. Marco Rubio returns to Florida with the goal of beating Trump.
He’s hoping the supporters of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has dropped out of the presidential race would end up supporting him.
He faces long odds for victory in his home state, as polls show Trump beating Rubio by double digits in Florida.
Rubio warns voters of the kind of leadership Trump represents.
“Leadership is not about going to an angry and frustrated people and saying you should be even angrier and more frustrated,” said Rubio. “That is not leadership. You know what that is? That’s called demagoguery and it is dangerous.”
Making a Rubio win even more unlikely is that the fact that Florida voters were able to request absentee ballots as early as Feb. 9 and begin early voting on March 15.
But early numbers are not looking in his favor. For him to have a shot at winning, Rubio would need to win election day by a big margin.
Trump believes Floridians have more sense than to vote for a senator who he says has a spotty record.
“He set a record, one of the worst records in the last ten years for no voting in the senate,” said Trump. “We don’t have to go into it too big, but you know what’s going to happen? We’re going to make America great again, folks. We’re going to make America great again.”
Filipino Republicans were among those that took part in early voting.
Some supported the billionaire businessman.
“In my opinion, Trump is the one who can make a change,” said Trump supporter Arsenia Pelayo. “First of all, when he describes his platform, it is what America needs”
Floridian Marlyn Lardizabal Nuque stayed loyal to a native son.
“It’s Marco Rubio, because first of all, I’m here in Florida and he is our senator,” said Nuque. “He believes in the family as the basic structure. So if the family is good, if you start with good upbringing with your children, then the country will follow up.”
While Florida is a winner-take-all race for the Republican Party with 99 delegates at stake, on the Democratic side, the state awards its candidates proportional delegates out of a total of 214. This means Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders will each take home delegates.
So why is the Sunshine State so important in the elections? Besides Florida’s historical status as a swing state, so much is at stake for the presidential candidates for each parties, especially for the GOP where Trump is poised to cruise to the party’s nomination if he ends up victorious at the end of Super Tuesday 3.