Even before the polls closed on March 1, Pola Hansberger was getting ready to celebrate the victories she expected Donald Trump would rake in on Super Tuesday. The 69-year-old isn't officially on Trump's campaign, but says she will "do everything possible" to make him president.
She takes every opportunity she gets to talk to reporters, be a guest on radio shows, and whatever else she can do to bolster the Republican presidential frontrunner. And even though Hansberger lives in Florida, where the primary isn't until March 15, people like her probably contributed to Trump's seven-state Super Tuesday win.
"I don’t even need to be in the campaign, speaking as a Trump person," she says. "I am more effective speaking as Legal Immigrants for America."
That's Hansberger's nonprofit. As she puts it, it's an organization that "gives a voice to the voiceless legal immigrants anywhere. ... I speak about that and the harms of illegal immigration."
Hansberger says she immigrated from Nicaragua in 1964, stressing she did so legally, and thinks Trump is the best candidate for the presidency because, she says, "without him, we wouldn't be talking about the issue" of legal vs. "illegal" immigration.
She says when politicians talk about immigration, it's typically in reference to people crossing the border or living in the US illegally. But Hansberger thinks Trump has brought the nuances of legal immigration to light. She likes his emphasis on the rule of law.
And Hansberger isn't put off by any of the remarks that earn Trump criticism. She's not offended by anything he says.
"On occasion, he will say the wrong thing. He’s not a politician," she says. "The truth is painful sometimes. If you call a thief a thief, you are telling the truth. Political correctness is Marxism."
Hansberger, like many Latin American expats who left countries ravaged by neo-Marxist regimes, turns away from left-leaning politics. Like some, she equates left-wing ideologies with Marxism, which she says manifests itself in lies from politicians.
So Trump's blunt manner of speaking works for her.
But Hansberger says she also supports Trump because he's known as a businessman, and one with experience closing international deals. She says a president needs to know the world, have traveled — like she did with PanAm Airways for 17 years — to know "how exceptional America is."
"I love Donald Trump. I do," Hansberger says. "And the reason my foundation exists is so that we could elect someone like him to the presidency."
This passion for Trump was evident in higher GOP voter turnout reported by Edison Media Research. In six of the states he won, Republican voter turnout was between 25 and 110 percent higher than it was in 2008.
Hansberger says after she migrated to the US, she lost her native Nicaragua to the Sandinistas. She says she doesn't "want to lose the second country," and tweaks her candidate's slogan a bit: "He already has made America great."
"America is beautiful," she says, "and it needs to be saved and [Donald Trump] is the only one who can save it."