And according to Nathaniel Gula, a 21-year-old psychology major, there is a darker side to Gingrich as well. "He is totally racist. And I feel he would have no problem at giving subtle hints to pull in the people who are racist."
Their verdict is that if Gingrich gets the Republican nomination, Obama will get the young vote. "The sanity vote would go to the Democrats and Obama would win," Banette concluded.
A key demographic
And there is at least one other group where support for Gingrich is not yet given: Florida's Hispanics. An important voting block, especially in South Florida, they make up a sizeable 11 per cent of registered Republican voters in the state and represent 22 per cent of its total population.
These facts have not been lost on Gingrich's campaign, which is now aggressively courting Hispanic voters. On Wednesday, he gave a policy speech on Latin America at Florida International University in Miami, and a 20-minute interview to the major Spanish-language network Univison.
On the one hand, the Latino vote cards seem to be stacking up in his favour. Many Hispanics point out that Gingrich offers the most "humane" approach in addressing illegal immigration, a huge issue in the United States where over 11 million people do not have proper documentation.
Gingrich proposes legalisation and "non-deportation" to those who have lived in the US for more than 20 years that have, in his words, "been paying taxes, obeying the law and belong to a local church".
His position has earned him an endorsement from the biggest organisation of Hispanic Republicans in the US, Somos Republicanos. In a statement last week, it said: "We believe Newt Gingrich knows the importance of the Latino community. While the other candidates seem oblivious to this fact, Newt Gingrich has been working hard for many years to include American Hispanics in the overall conversation for a better America."
That support has been gaining ground at the grassroots level as well. Maria Lima, a 56-year-old housewife from Pam Brock, Florida, told Al Jazeera she got involved with Gingrich's National Hispanic Inclusion team because she wanted to get the word out to other Hispanics about Gingrich's' "real plan" to solve the problem of immigration.
"He's the only candidate who's been there for the Hispanic community throughout," Lima said. "He has a clear voice for the Hispanics and will do great things for us, in the area of immigration, jobs and education."
She also thinks his position on immigration is "clearly compassionate" and that he has "thousands of boots on the ground" to promote his message to Hispanics. "We go door-to-door, we call, we wave signs. And we hope we can deliver the Hispanic vote for Newt in Florida."
Gingrich too has been working hard to distinguish himself from Romney on immigration, latching on Romney's newly-voiced concept of "self-deportation".
During Monday's debate in Tampa, Romney responded to a question about how to get illegal immigrants to go home without rounding up and deporting them with, "Well, the answer is self-deportation... people would decide that they could do better by going home because they can't find work here because they don't have legal documentation to allow them to work."
But Gingrich has called that a "fantasy". Alluding to Romney's income, which was made public through his tax returns released for the first time on Tuesday, he said "you have to live in a world of Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island accounts and automatically $20m income for no work, to have some fantasy this far from reality."
Not all good news
But it has not been all good news for Gingrich. On Wednesday, a new poll from Univision News/ABC News showed he is only getting 23 per cent among likely Latino voters in the Florida primary, compared to Romney's 49. And a number of key Florida Republicans have decided to endorse Romney.
Susan MacManus, professor of Public Administration and Political Science at USF, says the previous three nominating contests took place in states similar to each other: small, rural and conservative with mostly white Anglo-Protestant populations.
But Florida, she says, is a lot more representative of the country at large, a "microcosm", with its big presence of the fastest growing demographic group (Hispanics), mostly urban and suburban population, and a more tolerant, religiously diverse population.
"This is a different playing field," she says, pointing out that Florida is the only one of the four "big states" that is a swing state.
While the other three almost always vote the same (Democrat in California and New York and Republican in Texas), the Sunshine State "likes to change its mind". As she put it: "the clock starts all over in Florida".
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