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US Voters Weigh in on Trump as Presidential Race Narrows

  • Aru Pande

Miami resident Marvin Cooper, 85, is not buying into the sentiment that all is well in the American economy.

He has seen too many of his fellow seniors struggle to get by.

"Things are so expensive so many times, and you just don't have the money. I am worried about the economy, and that's really number one," Cooper said.

The day after the Florida presidential primary, politics dominates the conversation at this senior living community near North Miami Beach, where Jewish Americans gather to have lunch.

Lifelong Democrat Maria Valiante voted for Barack Obama in 2008. The 90-year-old says she switched parties two years ago, hoping a Republican could boost U.S. military might.

"We have to be able to show the rest of the world: ‘You want to step on my toes, we are going to step on two of yours,' and this is why I voted for Trump and I am glad he won," Valiante said.

Audience members hold up signs supporting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign rally in Boca Raton, Florida, March 13, 2016.

Audience members hold up signs supporting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign rally in Boca Raton, Florida, March 13, 2016.

Trump swept Tuesday's primary, winning all of Florida's 99 Republican delegates, with Senator Marco Rubio taking second place and subsequently suspending his presidential campaign.

While many Florida voters welcome Trump's primary victory, University of Miami political science professor Joseph Uscinski says others will be taking the time before the Republican convention to consider what a Trump nomination could mean for the country.

"Voters are going to have time to really think about [whether] they want Donald Trump to be president," Uscinski noted. "It may very well be the case that if he gets the nomination, he may walk right into the White House. And there is a large contingent of Americans who are very uncomfortable with that right now."

How likely is a contested convention?

How likely is a contested convention?

Trump ‘strange, but successful’

Looking ahead to November, it will likely come down to voter turnout and whether Trump or Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton can draw their base of supporters out to the polls.

Outside a polling location in Fort Lauderdale, Trump's controversial comments have not deterred supporter Silvana Busacca, who pushes her son in a wheelchair.

"I have a handicapped young man, and he [Trump] made fun of a handicapped person. Absolutely. But that's why I said his personality is a little bit strange. But even so, I still have lots of hope for this person because he is not a politician; he is successful," Busacca said.

FILE - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally in West Palm Beach, Florida, March 15, 2016.

FILE - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally in West Palm Beach, Florida, March 15, 2016.

'Big clown'

That sentiment is not shared by Fort Lauderdale resident Julia Allison, who supports Clinton.

"He is a big clown and he is not an intelligent man. And Hillary is brilliant, she is absolutely brilliant. She has proven herself. She is a diplomat. She understands international relations and she won't make our country look bad," Allison said.

Voters in South Florida, as elsewhere in the country, remain deeply divided over who best will lead the United States as the next president.

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