VIDEO: Trump holds Tampa primary eve town hall

Posted at 4:01 PM, Mar 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-15 00:12:21-04

Donald Trump arrived at the Tampa Convention Center more than one hour late, but that did not diminish the enthusiasm of supporters. Among them was Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who gave Trump her endorsement at Monday's town hall.

WATCH: See video and more information in the video player above

Adding to the excitement on the eve of the Florida primary was the appearance of Sarah Palin. She had bowed out of the event after an accident put her husband in hospital, but made it anyway. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also pumped up the Tampa crowd.

Attendees asked Trump a wide range of questions and were confident of the candidate's victory on Tuesday.

While the Tampa event did not see the level of violence at Trump rallies in recent days, there were at least two notable moments of protest.

Just after 3 p.m. someone shouting profanities was escorted out of the event. Not long after, police walked a man calling Trump a fascist out of the town hall.


There was also 20-30 protestors outside of the Convention Center event holding signs and chanting anti-Trump messages.

Protestors, like Reverend Dr. Russell Meyers of the Florida Council of Churches, said Trump's rhetoric and anti-immigrant message were especially damaging to the country.

"We need to be careful in our political speech that we don’t demonize other people. We should focus on the issues that are going to bring hope and prosperity to every body, not divide and conquer and make some people feel unwelcome," explained Dr. Meyers. "Unacceptable violent speech that says these people are welcome and those people aren’t even though they’re Americans, that's unacceptable speech, that's violent speech in itself and it leads to violence," added Dr. Meyers.

The group of protestors got into yelling matches with Trump supporters that were at times heated, not there were no reports of physical violence of any kind.

Tampa Police did not have any immediate reports of any arrests.

Several supporters of Trump's told ABC Action News that they've fallen on hard times since the recession, and blamed the Obama administration for their personal struggles.

"I’m 54. The last eight years have been extremely difficult financially, and before that my life was really great!" said Beverly Minardi to ABC Action News, who was joined by her mother and daughter at the town hall-style event.

Anti-Trump forces have tried aggressively in recent weeks to peel even more voters away from Trump ahead of Tuesday's crucial contests. Millions of dollars in advertisements blasting Trump's business record and brash demeanor have been blanketing airwaves in Florida, as well as in Ohio and Illinois.

But unless Trump's support softens more substantially than in recent contests, Tuesday's primaries could give him a lead in the delegate race that will be difficult for his rivals to overcome.

In Florida, the biggest prize up for grabs Tuesday, more than 1 million people voted early in the GOP primary. That's about one-fourth of the projected electorate that can't be persuaded in the final days of campaigning.

Giving Trump's showing in other states with early voting, the numbers in Florida could bode well for the billionaire.