GOP's "Sunshine Summit" draws party faithful, who are also torn in allegiance

- Susan Burrows walked into the GOP's "Sunshine Summit" wearing stickers for almost every candidate.  Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Jeb Bush are all in the running for her vote.

"Most of us don't want a candidate who is going to waffle on any issue," said Burrows. "We look at one candidate, who is doing great, and then he waffles."

Burrows says her complaints come from years of watching Republicans negotiate with Democrats, only to be led into budget deficits, common core, and a so-called soft-stance on immigration.

Yet she admits that all clashes with her worry that the nominee will be easy for the Democrats to pigeonhole, someone like Donald Trump.

"Some people don't know how to take that directness, to look behind that and see what he's talking about," she said. "I'm undecided, that's why I am here today."

Her worries, that the party could sacrifice the White House in exchange for a hard-right nominee, seem founded when you interview Bush supporter Tara Reid.

"There is a chance though that they could throw this to Hillary Clinton," said Reid. "That is my belief. I don't know how I could support Donald Trump."

Longtime Republican operative Sid Dinerstein says they must campaign for non-white voters, insisting the new battleground is for Hispanic and black voters.

"Mitt Romney spent $800,000,000 looking for the next white vote. He never got it," Dinerstein said. "We choose not to share our values with the people who need them the most. They lose and we lose."

Fmr. Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio have argued their openness to a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants allows the party to play bigger.

But is it worthwhile to bring others in at the risk of keeping the faithful away?

Indicative of a frozen race, Gov. Rick Scott won't say who he supports.

"I think what is going on this year [is that] people are open to more discussion," he said. "It's early; I think in the end, you are going to vote for what you believe is good for your family."

Three percent of voters in a recent poll said they were undecided - but that doesn't mean that people aren't jumping from candidate to candidate.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • GOP's "Sunshine Summit" draws party faithful, who are also torn in allegiance
  • 'We are heavily armed,' Tampa church warns
  • FHP joins hunt for Seminole Heights killer
  • USF freshman wide receiver accused of rape on campus
  • Police horse in St. Pete paints masterpieces during downtime
  • Small plane crashes near airpark in Clearwater
  • Seminole Heights shooting victim Ronnie Felton honored through charity
  • Crews battle 2-alarm fire at St. Pete apartment complex
  • Brightlight in western sky captured on video across Florida
  • Armed man seen chasing subjects in Sarasota