As the four Republican candidates took to the stage for , supporters and protestors alike gathered on the University of South Florida campus to share their opinions.
"I wanted people to know that (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 his 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 wouldn't give his last name. "We are here to show we are the people."
He says the Republican party is discriminatory to groups including the lesbian, gay and transgendered community.
Stay with Patch for more updates about the debate.