As the four Republican candidates took to the stage for tonight's debate, supporters and protesters alike gathered on the University of South Florida campus to share their opinions.
"I wanted people to know that his (Ron Paul's) supporters don't just represent fringe folks," said William Mahmet, 30, of St. Petersburg. "We are regular folks, too."
Northwest Tampa resident Terry Wickman turned out to show support for former House speaker Newt Gingrich.
"If you watch the debates, he has the best answers ... There's nothing canned about it. You need a leader in this country — not someone who just reads a teleprompter."
USF students were also out in force, with some protesting the Republican platform.
"We are protesting the issues we have with the GOP's issues," said a student named Hunter, who declined to give his last name. "We are here to show we are the people."
He said that he believes the Republican party shows discrimination toward the lesbian, gay and transgendered community.
Stay with Patch for updates about the debate.