By Camila Saenz

RISE NEWS Fellow

Senator Marco Rubio once again set foot on Florida International University’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus Wednesday, but this time he is looking for some serious help from the students he once taught.

Rubio is a born and raised Miamian with a family background not uncommon to the 54,000 students who attend FIU.

Rubio also previously taught a Florida Politics class on Monday’s and Fridays even after he was elected to the US Senate.

And according to the college professor tracker, Rate My Professor, students enjoyed his class at the university and seemed to like him.

“Probably the most amazing professor I have ever had,” one reviewer wrote on Rate My Professor. “Not to mention that he is a sitting U.S. Senator and Presidential Candidate. Would definitely take him again.”

Rubio’s political history runs deep in the southern end of Miami-Dade County. He was a long serving member of the Florida House of Representatives (where he eventually rose to be speaker of the body) and was a city councilman in West Miami starting when the future Presidential candidate was in his mid-twenties.

Marco Rubio at a MSNBC town hall on the campus of FIU. Photo Credit: Camila Saenz/ RISE NEWS
Marco Rubio at a MSNBC town hall on the campus of FIU. Photo Credit: Camila Saenz/ RISE NEWS

But not everyone is fond of Rubio these days.

“The people of Florida can’t stand him. He couldn’t get elected dog catcher,” Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said recently. “There will be a lot of advertising. It’s the only thing that might save him. But I doubt it.”

The question many students at FIU find themselves asking is whether or not Rubio will win the Florida primary, and whether they should continue to support him.

“I feel since he is born and raised in Florida he has a connection with the people of Florida,” FIU student Frank Mercado. “Age does not determine how well of a president a person will be, Rubio though young can still be a good choice.”

On Wednesday, a large crowd of students waited to catch a glimpse of Rubio walk through the doors of the Graham Center Ballrooms where he participated in a town hall hosted by MSNBC.

“Rubio has made a large impact on the republican campaign in this election cycle,” A student attending the town hall said after the event. “He is the strongest candidate out of the final four, however, he lacks years and experience.”

According to RealClear Politics, Trump is currently ahead in the polls by more than 15 points in Florida.

The Florida primary will decide which candidate will receive an additional 99 delegates; it can either give  Trump a tighter grip on the GOP nomination or help Rubio stay competitive.

If Rubio loses Florida, he is expected by some to drop out of the contest.

“Donald Trump makes the Republican Party look bad and Ted Cruz does not do a much better job,” Nicolas Zapata, a registered Democrat and FIU student said. “Rubio is the best choice out of the Republicans.

Florida votes on March 15th.

For more information on voting for the 2016 Presidential Preference Primary in Florida visit http://dos.myflorida.com/elections/for-voters/voting/.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!

Cover Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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