Stakes are high Tuesday in key political primaries with polls suggesting a likely Donald Trump victory, with both Ohio and Florida on the line.
“Florida is a place with a lot of diverse people so there are a lot of votes at stake,” said Terence Shepherd, News Director at WLRN-Miami Herald News.
“He’s pretty far ahead in Florida and unless Marco Rubio pulls off a last minute ‘Hail Mary’, Trump will win Florida,” Shepherd told Humber News.
Such favourable odds for Trump have his rivals in the Republican party mulling a possible contested Republican convention, essentially giving the nomination to a candidate other than Trump.
However, the move to give away the nomination could possibly make matters worse for Republicans, Shepherd said.
“If Trump has more delegates than anyone else it looks bad if [the Republicans] don’t make Trump the nominee,” Shepherd said.
“They would have to consider the risk of alienating the people that voted Trump,” he said.
The Tuesday primary follows violent protests at the University of Illinois resulting in the sudden cancellation of a Trump rally, last Friday night.
“Under U.S. law, the standard has always been that you cannot let angry protestors shut down a speaker’s rights,” said Gerald Rosenberg, a law professor at the University of Chicago.
“If you let protesters drown out speakers you are essentially silencing speech,” said Rosenberg, despite his own personal opposition to Trump’s political views.
Under the U.S. constitution, comments made by Trump during his campaign rallies are protected, Rosenberg said.
Julissa Alvaraz, one of the peaceful participants at the Chicago protests, said she is frightened by Trump’s xenophobic tendencies.
Alvaraz, born from a Mexican-Puerto Rican family in Chicago, crossed the border in 2010 to attend York University to study political science.
Trump’s harsh words and political platform disturbed Alvaraz on a personal level.
“I don’t really look Hispanic but maybe people like my friends, people like my dad will be looked at differently because someone like [Trump] is skewing what the public thinks,” said Alvaraz.
“Now there is a figure in the public legitimizing this kind of rhetoric,” she said.
Now graduated, Alvaraz is “scared” by the momentum Trump has gained in the polls leading up to the Tuesday primary.
“As much as he has free speech as a right, we have the freedom to assemble,” she told Humber News.
While Trump’s views may be cause for worry for some Americans heading into the primary, Shepherd simply sees Trump’s views as “anti-establishment.”
“I’ve been voting here since I was 18. I haven’t seen this much anti-establishment enthusiasm in a presidential race, both in Sanders and Trump since I’ve been voting,” said Shepherd.
“They’ve both upset the status quo, they’ve both upset the establishment and so currently leaders need to look at that, people who are up for re-election need to look at that,” he said.