VALDOSTA, Ga. -
Donald Trump was met with deafening cheers from the audience at Valdosta State University in Southern Georgia on the eve of Tuesday's Super Tuesday primaries.
A recent CNN poll of GOP voters puts the candidate in the lead going into the vote by a very large margin - polling at 49 percent, a whopping 33 points ahead of the next competitor, Marco Rubio.
Trump flaunted his position to the more than 7,5000 assembled to hear him speak. At least 12,000 supporters waited outside, unable to get into the event.
"Every single online poll, every single event I've been No. 1," he said.
While the crowd cheered, there were also protesters present. The event was held just a few hours after a similar campaign stop in Virginia, where a crowd of chanting black students were removed, and where a photojournalist for TIME magazine was slammed to the ground by a Secret Service agent and was detained.
Before Trump began speaking in Georgia, Jennifer Jacobs with The Des Moines Register reported that more than two dozen black students who were standing quietly were removed from the rally.
About 30 black students who were standing silently at the top of the bleachers at Donald Trump’s rally here Monday night were escorted out by Secret Service agents who said the presidential candidate had requested their removal before he began speaking.
The sight of the students, who were visibly upset, being led outside by law enforcement officials created a stir at a university that was a whites-only campus until 1963.
“We didn’t plan to do anything,” said a tearful Tahjila Davis, a 19-year-old mass media major, who was among the Valdosta State University students who was removed. “They said, ‘This is Trump’s property; it’s a private event.’ But I paid my tuition to be here.”
Lori Tompkins from Turner County, Ga., who assists medical patients without insurance, said Georgians in particular are flocking to the billionaire because of his business savvy.
"He's helping us stand up for our country again, to try and improve business. Georgia, especially this part of Georgia, is an extremely poor area and we would love to see manufacturing come back to this country, especially here in Georgia," she said.
Trump asked for the crowd's support Tuesday and promised a strong showing.
"We are going to win at every single level. We are going to win with health, with education, at the borders, with our military. We're going to win, win, win, win," he said.