Voters in SC Ready For Trump: 'We Won't Be Swayed' By Tonight's Debate

Posted: Feb 13, 2016 3:30 PM

GREENVILLE, S.C. - I'm here in downtown Greenville ahead of Saturday night's GOP presidential debate at The Peace Center. Down the street from the venue, a flurry of "Trump" signs led me to his local campaign headquarters. Hundreds of visitors have been filing in and out since this morning, organizers told me. One receptionist said "she's never seen anything like it" since she started working there a month ago. 

All ages were walking through the HQ, many of whom were eager to take pictures with the lifesize cutout of Trump in the lobby.

"We won't be swayed tonight," one Trump supporter said, speaking for his family. Meaning, no matter what happens at tonight's debate, Trump is their guy. "Jeb's not going to get anything done" and Rubio "doesn't have the experience," he said, dismissing the Republican frontrunner's opponents.

Why do so many South Carolinians have Trump fever? I asked several people who were picking up Trump bumper stickers and yard signs and the most frequent responses focused on two issues: The economy and, his most vocal issue, immigration.

In fact, the first person I talked to said only one word when I asked him why Trump had his vote: "Immigration."

Trump's campaign seems to be well aware that his anti-amnesty stance has hit a nerve with his supporters. They encouraged visitors at the local headquarters to open a binder on the table that had a list of reforms Trump intends to make as president. The very first tab outlined his plans for immigration. 

A group of young male students from South Carolina's Furman University echoed that sentiment. One of the young men said he's voting for the businessman because of his strong stance on ISIS and immigration.

"He's going to build a wall," he said.

"Is Mexico going to pay for it?" I asked.

"No," he laughed. "I'd like to see some of Trump's money go toward it."

Interestingly, one of the other students said he's torn between Trump and Bernie Sanders. Why? He said simply because "he's a millennial" and he likes the Washington outsiders.

Most other visitors at the HQ, however, agreed that we cannot let Sanders or Hillary Clinton win in November. One gentleman scoffed at Sanders' offering his supporters "free ice cream, free college," etc. 

"What are they, elementary children?" he said.

Other voters I spoke with said they are huge fans of Trump's no nonsense rhetoric.

"He says what's on everyone's mind," one visitor noted.

In just a few hours, we'll see if Trump continues telling it like its when he joins the stage with his five remaining opponents, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson and John Kasich.

I'll be covering the debate live here in Greenville. Stay put at Townhall for coverage.